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Ingeam Place. 






Ingeam Place. 


A ■■■- ■ 

■ r 






Vol. II. 

• I 



411 righU rtttof&r 


2f/ . <ir . UtTb . 






I. Number Thirteen 1 

II. Fighting her Way 10 

III. Why the People shouted 24 

IV. What Lord Ingram was to remember, and what 

Mrs. Chirrup was to porget .... 30 

V. The Companion 37 

VI. Catch me, Charlie 45 

VII. The Duet 53 

'VIII. My Daughter was an Outcast — you are a Lady 60 

IX. Enquiries 67 

X. No bigger than a Man's Hand .... 70 

XI. More Reasoning 73 

XII. Why? 80 

XIII. Between her and Heaven. When the Darkness 

comes the Stars shine out .... 86 

XIV. The whole World before her .... 91 

XV. Learning to be strong 97 

XVI. What Success Mr. Blennerhasset had . . 103 

XVII. Only a Coward 112 

iXVUI. After Three Years a Sign.. . .. . ., L15 



XfX. What Rohan Blennebhassbt and Charlie Devb- 

bbxtx saw on Tuesday Night . . .117 

XX. Mb. Blennerhasset's Puzzle. Miss Ingram's 

Indignation. Charlie's Conviction . 123 

XXI. Mb. Blennerhasset astonishes Mb. Devereux, 
and Mb. Devereux astonishes Mb. Blenner- 
hasset 134 

XXII. Rohan Blennerhasset's Troubles . . . 136 

XXIII. Miss Ingram makes a Confidant . . .143 

XXIV. How Robert Dalzell's Genius came back to 

him . 148 

XXV. Miss Batley's Lodger 151 

XXVI. More Puzzles fob Mb. Devebeux . . . 159 

XXVII. Charlie's Experiment 163 

XXVIII. Friends always 168 

XXIX. Miss Joice declines to make herself ridiculous 171 

XXX. Miss Joice in a new Character . . . .177 

XXXI. Charlie Dbtbreux and Miss Joice grow friendly 186 

XXXII. Too late, Gentlemen 190 

XXXIII. She is my Daughter 194 


XXXIV. A Revelation . for Mr. Blennerhasset . . 202 

XXXV. How the Last Witness proved «is Words . 206 

XXXVI. Bringing Home the Heibess . . . .221 

XXXVII. Only so happy 228 

XXXVIII. Charlie Devereux and Miss Joice make a Com- 
pact 241 

XXXIX. Mr. Dalzell tries his Hand at Match-making, 

and fails miserably 249 

XL. The Last Good-bye 255 

XLI. Mr. Dalzell tries his Hand at 'Match-making 

again, and with better Success . . 261 
XLII. Nothing to begret.' How Rohan Blenner- 
hasset and Miss Ingram parted . . .271 

XLHI. Rest for the Weary . . . . . 275 

XLIV. The Hour before Day 284 

XLV. How the Discovbby came .... 290 




As Kate, after parting from Miss Joice, turned to enter the 
ward she attended to, a man wrapped in cloaks that 
shrouded him from head to foot was carried in, while all 
that remained of Jack Mills was taken out. The new 
comer was laid on the vacant bed, and Kate instantly 
commenced preparations for alleviating his suffering. 

' Poor fellow ! he went just in time,' said lively Mrs. 
Love, apostrophising the obliging Jack Mills. ' The bed's 
just wanted, and I don't know what we should have done 
without ; eh, my dear ? Well, I'll go on now you're here. 
I leave Number Thirteen in good hands.' * 

He looked almost dead as he lay there. Great yellow 
patches, that would soon resolve into one, disfigured a face 
that but yesterday had been fair and comely. Heavy eyes, 
burning with fever, seemed to light up the countenance of 
blithe, handsome Charlie Devereux. Blithe ? Handsome ? 
Why there was nothing left of his beauty save the thick 
clustering curls, damp and dank with the fever dew. 

How had he come there ? The most popular man about 



town, the idol of women, the good fellow of men, the 
king of horihomie y left to die in this loathsome lazar 
house, uncared for, untended, except by a stranger ? 

The doctor passed hastily round and prescribed for him. 
His spare half hour, if ever anything but a pious fiction, 
was gone, and he gave his directions hurriedly. 

' His head must be shaved, but I don't see anyone to do 
it. Mrs. Morton and the rest of them have their hands 
full. I'll have a look at those poor creatures, and do it 

He was longer away than he expected. When he re- 
turned the sufferer was shorn of his clustering curls. 

'Who did it?' 

c Me, sir. He was so hot, I didn't like to wait, though 
I was sorry for the poor curls,' and she lifted one of them 

1 Very well done, little girl. Mrs. Morton will be round 
directly ; but whoever is here, you must see to the medi- 
cines,' he said, as he passed on, for Kate's anxious care 
and quick memory guarded against mistakes. She nodded 
her recognition of the weighty trust, and lingered by the 
new sufferer, vainly endeavouring to cool his parched 

By-and-by the fever deepened and showed itself 
plainly. The heavy eyes began to roll and burn more 
fiercely, the discoloured hands were tossed wildly about, 
to lethargic stupor succeeded delirious ravings. At times 
he would call wildly on some boon companion to help him 
out of this horrible fire ; now he was arranging a bouquet 
for dear little Flossy, until the flowers turned to burning 
coals in his hands. Oh, how strong life was in him ! how 
he struggled and fought to get away from the fever that 


consumed him ! how he tossed and fumed to escape from it, 
m in vain ! how he called frantically on his friends, and there 
were none to hear ! 

* We must change the medicines,' said Dr. Dalzell as 
he came round at nightfall ; ' and we must change the 
nurse too ; you are too useful to be lost.' 

He was shocked to see her look so pale and thin. 

* Couldn't manage it,' she said, with quiet decision. 
1 They've all got their hands full. Tell me all about the 

What could he do but tell her ? Though he felt she was 
killing herself, there was no help for it, no time to argue 
either, and some lives, at least, must hang upon the proper 
administering of the doses. He told her what to do for 
each, and took a last pitiful look at Number Thirteen. There 
had been many number thirteens, the one before had been 
swearing Jack Mills; but it was Charlie Devereux 

* Poor fellow,' muttered the stern doctor ; ' it's a lonely 
death enough for him to die.' 

* Is there no hope, sir ? ' 

* Not much, little nurse. He's not dead yet, that's all 
I can say for him.' 

* Do you think maybe he has a father or mother ? ' 
6 Just as likely as not.' 

* How they will miss him ! ' 

'What can we do? Don't know even his name, 
nothing but C. D. on his linen ; not even a card-case, or a 
pocketbook. Of course if we sent for the cabman that 
brought him here, we might find out; that's to say if the 
cabman is yet alive, and supposing we could get him. But 

B 2 


there isn't a soul has time. I see you and that other 
little imp dying before my eyes, and I haven't time to 
prevent yon.' 

He was gone, and Kate was alone with her patients. 
Number Thirteen was tolerably quiet to-night, but from the 
other twenty-four beds came ravings and groans, inter- 
spersed with the hideous laughter of delirium. A lamp 
burnt at each end of the ward, and there were tables on 
which were crowded phials and glasses. On each phial 
was the number of a bed, on every table a basin of water. 

Up and down the apartment glided the pale, noiseless 
girl, never resting, never passing a single pallet without 
striving to lessen the misery of the living corpse upon it. 
By the time she was round once it was time to go again ; 
and so it went on, with little interruption, till as the clock 
struck twelve she stood beside Number Thirteen, 

' What a noble, handsome face it must have been,' she 
whispered to herself, as she gazed at the broad brow, the 
finely arched eyebrows, the sweetly curved mouth that 
looked so boyish now at rest. The livid spots had 
partially disappeared, the green and yellow had given 
place to a deathlike hue, the distorted features were 
settling down into something of their natural beauty, but 
the girl never guessed that it was the young officer whose 
name had so often sounded in her ears at Ingram. 

' Was it the change before death ? ' she mused. Had 
he a mother to miss him every hour of her life ? had he a 
father to weep secret tears for him ? had he a sister, perhaps 
a wife, or one loved as well, to live in widowhood for him ? 
He was a gentleman ; everything from his clothes to his 
white hands told that ; he was handsome ; he was of a brave 
noble disposition, she surmised, for in all his mad, feverish 


ravings, he was always generous and free ; rollicking 
Charlie Devereux still. 

* He cannot be alone in the world,' she continued ; ' it 
is impossible that he should not be loved. How they will 
mourn him, how they will watch and wait for him, how 
they will wonder that he does not come ! how slow they will 
be to believe that he died in a crowded cholera ward, that 
his bones lie mouldering, without a stone to mark their 
resting place, beside paupers and criminals who never had 
anyone to love them, who left no one to wonder, and wait, 
and weep ! ' She pictured to herself his mother, from whom 
perhaps he had inherited that finely curved mouth, those 
long eyelashes ; the father, with the same grand forehead ; 
the sister, fair, graceful, highbred, devoted as a sister 
might be to such a brother; the wife or betrothed, who 
would never see his handsome face again, who would 
never know who put the gravecloth on it, or whether a 
kind hand had wiped away the dews of death, or he had 
been left to die like a dog. She must be beautiful, this 
woman, about to suffer so great a loss. That poor cholera- 
stricken patient lying there had been able to choose 
among the very best. She must be true and generous- 
minded too, or he would not have chosen her; and yet 
this beautiful, good woman must suffer so terribly. Her 
heart was filled with a great tide of love and pity as the 
life-like pictures passed before her with startling vividness 
' Why should such things be ? ' she asked herself wonder- 
ingly. She looked round the ward at the living corpses, 
some of them silent, some horribly talkative, and she 
wondered if they too had some to miss them so much. 
Twenty-five homes to be made desolate. The flood of pity 
welled np more and more, till it submerged every other 


feeling, every desire but the one, to try and take some- 
thing, however little, from this great aggregate of 
suffering. She had learnt to pray by their bedsides, 
she had learnt to offer up vague but heartfelt petitions to 
Him whom she had sought blindly for so long. Kneeling 
now in that cholera ward she prayed that this stranger, so 
young, so handsome, so noble, who must be so much loved, 
might be spared, and that her poor, worthless life might be 
the substitute for his. 

Poor child ! Her notions of that Divine incarnation of 
beneficence were so vague, so dim, that she did not 
presume to ask a boon without offering an equivalent, nor 
did she dare to ask more than that one life. She had yet 
to learn of that illimitable bounty, of which we cannot ask 
too much. Seeking then in the darkness that was 
breaking, she groped her way to what little light she 
saw, and offered up her dreary life for that of the hand- 
some stranger. 

She took no credit to herself. She acknowledged, in all 
humility, that her life must be of incomparably less value 
than his. 

Rising languidly she resumed her rounds, whispering 
comforting words, even to ears that heard not, in the faint 
hope that they might, and wondering with a quiet rapture 
would her prayer be answered. It seemed so good a thing 
for her to die. Sin and wretchedness, struggles for 
honesty, and greater wretchedness : that was the summary 
of her life. Should she live to leave the hospital, the 
old terrible struggle must begin again ; she might fail and 
yield, the terror of her life might come upon her, Balfe 
might hunt her down. Better die than be brought to 
bay, better die than return to sin. All in the dark, but 
groping for the light. 


Three nights, and she had not slept. Never had the 
sufferers found her more patient or more kind than 
to-night, though unconsciously her step grew heavier and 

One o'clock struck as she stood beside Number 
Thirteen, waiting to steady her hand to pour in the drops 
of the powerful medicine which was to save or to kill. 
One drop too much, and he would sleep for ever, one drop 
too little, and the ineffectual potion would not induce the 
sleep that alone could save, would, in fact, only give him a 
stimulus to wear his life onti 

She measured it correctly, and essayed to lift the heavy 
head, but the blood flowed sluggishly in her veins, and it 
was with difficulty she administered the draught. The 
burning eyes looked wildly into hers for a few moments, 
then closed heavily, as with a struggle. Would they 
ever open ? 

Drowsily she raised herself, and tottered from bed to 
bed, wondering languidly why she should feel so tired 
when she had made up her mind not to be tired, why she 
did not make up her mind to * shake off the feeling now, 
why she did not even feel a desire to do so, why Mrs. 
Morton did not come, why the doctor had not passed 
through again as usual, when he would come, whether she 
would still be so lazy, and not even fight against it. All 
this passed through her mind in a sleepy, dreamy sort of 
fashion. Suddenly the truth flashed across her mind — the 
cholera had come to her, her prayer had been heard. 

The conviction came like a flash of lightning, breaking 
momentarily through the torpor, but it brought no pang 
with it. Life had been very bitter, death would be very 
sweet, and this man, who must be loved, would perhaps 


She came slowly across, and looked at Number Thirteen. 
Sleeping, almost calmly, still with the death hue, but sleep- 
ing. A smile stole over her face as she went round to pay 
her farewell visits. She moved so slowly now, her hands and 
feet had become so heavy a load, that it took her double 
the usual time to give each one the right medicine, or 
moisten the dying lips. Number Twelve held her hand while 
he breathed his last, and morn was breaking as she stood be- 
side Number Thirteen. With death surging in her ears, and 
deafening her with weird noises and oppressing sensations, 
it seemed strange she should have selected this one from 
the others as the subject of her prayer. Then dawned on 
her something of illimitable love, and she marvelled she 
had not asked for all. 

He moved uneasily just as, unable to stand, she had 
sunk on her knees beside the bed. She saw the parched 
lips, the involuntary gesture, and slowly dragging her 
heavy limbs to the nearest table for a cordial, she returned 
to moisten his lips. Her strength is ebbing away fast, her 
eyes are dim, the noises grow louder, but with a supreme 
effort she accomplishes her object. The bottle drops 
from her feeble grasp, Number Thirteen turns his head 
peacefully, outward objects recede, and all is stillness with 
nurse and patient. 

Stay — not all peace and stillness. Were not those the 
eyes of her shadow looking into hers ? Was not that the 
face that had dogged her in town and country, in pestiferous 
lanes, and under the free grand canopy of Heaven ? Had 
they hunted her down at last ? Was it Balfe's spy, or the 
police detective ? A convulsive desire to flee passed in a 
moment, then she triumphed. Yes, she was hunted down, 
but it was too late, and without fear she watched the sharp 


ferret eyes, the keen face bristling all over with inquisitive- 
ness, approach nearer, then recoil with an indescribable fear. 

' I thought to be in at two, little nurse, ' whispered the 
gruff old doctor, ' but we had sixteen arrivals since eleven, 
and Mrs. Morton nine.' 

She withdrew her gaze from the face that had fas- 
cinated her, and looked up with a faint smile, livid and 
distorted, in the pale cold light that came shivering in at 
the unshuttered casements. 

* Poor things ! ' she murmured pitifully. ' God pity 
them all !' 

' Gracious Heaven ! * he groaned, lifting her up. 

A man stepped out of the shadow as the nurse 
ushered in a lady. The doctor stared at them in stupefied 

' Well ?' said the lady eagerly, * are we successful at last ? ' 

' Yes,' the man said, in an awestruck tone ; ' we've 
hunted her down as I told you we would, but it's too 

' Too late ? ' she repeated, looking down at the dis- 
coloured face of the little nurse. Then she clasped her 
hands with a cry of remorseful regret : ' ah, yes, too late ! 
too late ! ' 

They did not see the door open again, they did not 
notice a tiny figure with a haggard face and great sad 
dark eyes, till a bitter cry rang through the hospital. 

' Kate, oh, Kate ! have they killed you after all ? ' 

There was no response from the now unconscious 
sufferer, and Jenny Joy turned on the two strangers. 

' Oh, you've hunted her down at last, have you ?' she 
said, between her set teeth. 'And she thought it was 
Balfe, or the police ; she never dreamt it was the lady 


that pretended kindness that run her thtough the world 
like a deer before the hounds. But I know you, Miss 
Ingram. Oh, yes, I know you now, and I know why you 
won't let her alone. Well, well, you've got her now, and 
it's too late.' 

'Yes, yes, I fear it is too late,' said the lady sadly. 
' You are her Mend ? Well, so am I.' 



' And she is your daughter, is she ? ' queried Dr. Dalzell, 
gloomily of the gloomy-looking visitor. 

' Ay,' said the other, with equal gloom. 

' You deserve a daughter, you do,' hissed the doctor 
bitterly. ' You let her kill herself, and then you come and 
look at her. I wouldn't wonder if you had a good cry 
over her grave. It couldn't do any harm, once she's gone, 
and it would be the proper thing, all of a piece.' 

The tramp remained moodily silent, looking down at 
the moaning sufferer, listening to her strange prayer, which 
she repeated over and over. 

' Aren't you afraid of catching it ? ' said Dr. Dalzell 
suddenly and savagely. ' We're short of nurses just now, 
and you'd fere but badly, I'm thinking/ 

' It's a sin agen Heaven for you to stand there,' burst 
forth Jenny, from the other side of the bed. 'If you 
hadn't made her life miserable, she wouldn't have walked 
straight into her grave. An' to say they won't hang you.' 


1 1 never ill-treated her,' he said in a restrained tone. 

* Poor father ! ' murmured the sick girl plaintively. 

' You gave her enough to eat ; yes, you did. You didn't 
open her head with a poker ; no, you didn't, but you done 
worse than that. You tried to make her a thief, you 
wanted to send her to Hell, and so Heaven is taking her in 
spite of you.' 

A startled look came into the man's eyes, as sobs 
choked her speech. Had not that been his aim ? And 
was Providence taking the matter out of his hands ? Was 
it so indeed, and was the rich man's treasure so carefully 
guarded ? It was a bitter thought ; it choked back all the 
pity that had been surging up so bravely, that had well- 
nigh drowned his fierce revenge, until the plaintive voice 
broke forth again. 

' Poor father, poor father, Jenny. I hope he won't 
miss me.' 

All the pity surged up again. She was not the rich 
man's daughter, she was not the aristocrat's heiress, 
shielded from the breath of evil, she was the weak, simple 
girl whose wistful eyes had appealed to him from child- 
hood. She was the child who for eleven years had made 
his thieves' den somewhat of a home, the little waif whose 
very helplessness had made him involuntarily her protector, 
whose gentle, uncomplaining spirit had at times awed him 
into the recognition of a higher, grander power than man's 
scheming, or Satan's daring, a power above and beyond 
rules and regulations, a power that was not to be limited 
by human calculations, a power independent of circum- 
stance or material agent, a power, in short, capable of 
instilling a love of goodness and truth into a little outcast, 
untaught of man. 


He stood and listened to her raving, and knew that he 
listened to no new revelation. All that the girl felt now, 
she had felt in her home in the Thieves' Latin ; the only- 
difference was she had been unable to express it then, and 
even now great thoughts struggled forth in imperfect 
words. No, he listened to nothing new when he heard her 
pitiful thoughts of a hard father, he only heard what the 
mute face had told him long ago. Nothing new, when her 
thoughts rambled away to the times she had passed at 
Ingram Place. 

' Poor old man,' she said. * But I could not comfort 
him. His grey hairs were for his daughter, and I could 
not comfort him.' 

With indescribable pathos she repeated the last words. 
This idea of the mournful, grey-haired man seeking 
comfort which she was unable to give was the one to 
which she most frequently recurred ; it seemed to haunt 
her, to wind itself into every shape of her delirious 
fancies. Sometimes she would tell him she would pray- 
to die, that his daughter might be restored to him, noble 
and good, not a poor outcast like her. But it was nothing 
v new ; that wondrous pity had been always there, that 
sublime longing to lessen the sorrows of others had been 
nourished in the haunts of vice, in the dark places of the 
earth. Nourished ? By whom ? 

* Jenny.' 

It was Balfe who spoke, and she turned at him with the 
bitterness she could not express in words burning in her eyes. 
' It's a promise I've just made.' 

* What's the good ? ' said Jenny Joy, with mournful 
disdain, 'promises won't bring her back, man, nor per- 
formances neither.' 


* The life is in her yet, and you must tell her what I 
say as soon as she's able to listen. Tell her I set her free 
from duty to me, that I'll leave her alone without fear of 
me. Tell her to forgive me that I don't do more, but I 
can't, I can't.' 

He touched the fevered hand pitifully, remorserally, but 
did not stoop to kiss his daughter. Then he went out, de- 
bating within himself a mighty question. 

A lady stopped before him in the passage, and the 
gloomy eyes looked out from their reverie. They knew 
each other, the lady and the tramp. 

* You — you have found her ? ' she said eagerly. 

' Just an hour later than your detective, ma'am. You 
see it took just that time for my boy to bring me word 
where Job Ferret was.' 

' Ah, I understand. But what are you going to do ? ' 

* Supposing I return the question, Miss Ingram,' he 
retorted insolently. ' It would be only fair, I think, for 
it's no ways strange for a father to search for his daughter, 
but it is a little remarkable that a young lady should spend 
a great deal of time and money in hunting up a strange 

' You make a mistake,' said the young girl, with the 
calm dignity that was so new, yet so natural to her, ' it is 
you who seek the stranger, I sought my cousin.' 

He looked piercingly at her, but the assured tone 
never faltered. All the pride of an Ingram looked at him 
out of the fair childish face. 

' And suppose it was ? Where would you be 
then ? ' 

* What has that to do with it ? ' she exclaimed, with a 
superb scorn that startled and puzzled him. ' All I want 


from you is that yon will for the future let this unhappy 
child alone.' 

' And suppose I refuse ? ' 

' You will think before you do that/ and the clear eyes 
flashed determination. * It is true you are a man, and I 
am but a girl, but I tell you while I have breath that girl 
shall not remain your victim. I have money on my side, 
remember, I have money and position, and something 
else — right.' 

* You might have left out the last without in the least 
damaging your cause. But does that mean that you'd like 
me to leave her in your clutches, Miss Ingram, Baroness 
that was to be ? ' 

* Who so fit ? I, one of her nearest relations.' 

* Exactly so,' he sneered. 

' Will you relinquish the hold you have on her ? ' 

4 No ! ' 

' Then I shall take her in spite of you.' 

'You will? How?' 

' I shall set in motion every engine of the law. You 
are not beyond its power, and my woman's wit will teach 
me to find your vulnerable part.' 

'And what shall I be doing? Will the law have 
nothing to say to your actions ? Or will it be hoodwinked 
because it is violated by a lady of quality ? ' 

' I have told you already that right is on my side.' 

' The right to hide — put out of the world, maybe — the 
girl who stands in your way.' 

* Is that what you think ? ' 

* Eh ? I am not blind, ma'am.' 

' Well, suppose I satisfy you as to my plans. What 
then ? Will you promise ? ' 


' What need ?' he said ironically. ' You have right on 
your side.' 

' Yes ; and therefore half of my plan must succeed, but 
the other half, which depends on avoidance of publicity, 
may be defeated by your defiance. That is why I seek to 
secure your co-operation.' 

' At least, ma'am, you are frank.' 

He was fast losing the brogue, fast relapsing into purity 
of accent and language, conversing with this young girl. 

* Oh, yes, I am frank. Why should I pretend to con- 
ciliate you, if I had not an object P At the same time, I 
am willing to make it worth your while to agree.' 

'And I tell you, ma'am, you may spare yourself the 
trouble. What bribe so dear to me as my vengeance ? If 
that barely suffices to keep me firm to my vow, think you 
some paltry gift will induce me to forego my cherished 
plans, play into your hands, consummate the misery of a 
simple child, not for my purposes, but yours ? You do not 
know me.' 

* I acknowledge you are not the person I took you for, 
but that renders it all the more easy for me to deal with 
you. Gome into this room, and hear my plans, my reasons 
too, before you refuse to act with me. You will regret it 
if you do not.' 

' Threats are of no more avail than bribes,' he said 
scornfully. ' What could you do that would affect me ? ' 

' I tell you it will affect you when you know it too late, 
but not you alone.' 

* I will listen, then ; it can do no harm.' 

They entered the room, and Miss Ingram closed the 
door as Dr. Dalzell came down the stairs. He was 


* And what will you do with her if I were to give her 
up, Miss Ingram ? ' 

' My first object would be to educate her properly — 
give her all the advantages that money could procure for 
three years at least.' 

' Ay, ay, I understand,' he sneered. * No school like a 

' I would leave you to select the school' 

* And then ? ' he asked, leaning forward. This clever 
rogue, who set the police of the city at defiance, who 
traced his booty as the detective force could never trace 
him, was set at fault by this young girl of eighteen, 
whose finesse was truth, whose cleverness was a simple 
struggle to do right. 

' And then ? Why then she would be fit to take her 
lawful place.' 

* Aud you tell me to do this ? To give Lord Ingram 
back his daughter, pure, good, accomplished, as though 
she had ne,ver left him — he, who would not have her as 
she is now, a world too good for him. You are mad to 
ask me to do this.' 

'You are wrong to say he would not have her. She 
ran away — with a good motive ; but she ran away.' 

' Ban away ? But he let her. Maybe he didn't tell 
her to go, and maybe he did ; but he didn't keep her, he 
let her go. I told him I'd take her from him, but he 
didn't wait, sure. She couldn't minister to his pride ; she 
wasn't another crown of glory to his house ; she was only 
a poor ignorant child, not very clearly guilty, needing all a 
father's- love and forbearance, and so he let her go.' 

4 1 tell you ' 

' Don't tell me. I tell you she was a disgrace to him, 


and he had no pity for her. Do ye think he'd be sorry 
to hear she was dead to-morrow ? Well, he wouldn't ; 
he'd be glad ; it would be the proudest minit he's known 
these twelve years. And d'ye think it's back to him I'm 
going to give her ? D'ye think it's for such as him I'm 
going to leave myself without a soul in the world to care 
for me ? D'ye think that brute as I am I'd shut my heart 
to my poor girl, no matter how bad she came back to me ? 
Covered with sin and crime I would take her in ; I would 
be her father if I could only get her back, no matter how. 
But I can't now or ever ; I can't get my girl back ; she 
won't come to me ; nobody will bring her or send her ; and 
d'ye think I'll give him another chance ? A daughter is 
nothing to him, and he shall never have one.' 

She was a brave girl not to be appalled by that fierce, 
livid hate, that awful hardening of the vengeful voice that 
came with the thought of that daughter lost for ever, who 
could never be got, any way or anyhow. 

' But you only think of him ; you do not think of her 
— of the lonely miserable life she has dragged through all 
these years, of the good she has given for evil, the truth 
and love she has shown to you for all the wrong you have 
done her.' 

* Yes, yes, I do think of it,' he interrupted fiercely. ' I 
thought of it long ago ; I thought of it an hour ago, when 
I renounced my vow to ruin the soul of his daughter, when 
I spoke my promise to let her go her own ways, and get to 
Heaven if she could.' 

' Did you do that ? ' Miss Ingram exclaimed breathlessly, 
rising from the chair. 

1 Yes ; but, mark me, ma'am. If she's to be honest 
it'll be for me, not for Lord Ingram ; if she's a good 

VOL. II. c 


daughter it'll be to me ; if she can save a sinful man it 
won't be him, though for certain it's hardly like to be me. 
I'm pretty well gone past such a chance, but it's a chance 
he'll never have.' 

' But do you suppose that my uncle and I will quietly 
sit down and let you do this ? Do you think we will not 
make any effort to get her ? ' 

* Get her, get her, if I'm fool enough to give you the 
chance. Get her, I say, a hundred times in the year, and 
so many times will I whistle her back. D'ye think I don't 
know my hold on her ? ' 

She felt the truth of what he said. The very struggle 
of the girl's mind towards goodness would but tighten 
that hold, would render it impossible for Lord Ingram to 
establish any claim to her obedience. With strengthened 
principle would come an increased sense of duty to the 
parent she recognised ; with established notions of honesty 
would grow an intensified dislike to further what she 
looked upon as an imposture, adopted by her father for 

' You are very hard,' she said at length, * on this poor 
child, who screened you at the expense of her own dis- 
grace. I don't believe she committed that robbery ; but 
if they had transported her, she'd not have betrayed you. 
You are cruel to her, and so I tell you that if you drive me 
to extremities I will have you arrested for that crime. I 
will represent matters so that she will see the sin of per- 
verting the truth, and you will be condemned. Yes, I 
will do this, even though in my heart I think that great 
as are your crimes your sufferings are still greater.' 

' Your representations would fall on dull ears,' he re- 
joined, with an expression that was partly admiration, 


partly triumph. ' Kate is just at that stage of goodness 
when she has less horror of a lie in the abstract than of 
turning informer. I don't mind telling you in confidence 
that it is only her evidence could convict me, and so I 
feel quite comfortable. If the rope was round hor neck, 
she wouldn't give them a hint.' 

' It is true. It is all true/ Miss Ingram said, with a 
sort of despairing triumph. ' She is so good, she would 
die before she would betray you. Have you no pity ? ' 

' What do you want me to do ? Send her back to the 
father that didn't want her ? No.' 

' Give her to me. I want her. Forget that she is 
Lord Ingram's daughter.' 

<And ?' 

' And I will fit her for the position that meanwhile I 
will hold in trust for her.' 

The worse nature of the man seemed to fall from him 
like a shell. It would come again — the better man would 
once more be obscured ; it had been stifled too long in 
darkness to be able to bear the light. But it was some- 
thing that for a brief space it shone forth ; that for a few 
moments he felt himself a human being within the pale of 
salvation ; that for a little time he forgot his hopeless, 
irretrievable misery. Oh, yes, it was something, and he 
owed it to this young girl, who came to him to rid herself 
of a vast fortune, a grand title — not because they were 
wearisome to her, not because they were worthless, few 
could appreciate or were fitted to enjoy them better ; but 
because she could not stoop to deprive a girl, poor, defence- 
less, and ignorant, of what was hers by right. 

He paced the room, and he felt that he would owe this 
half-hour to this young girl with the soft golden hair 

c 2 


rippling over her fair, honourable brow, with the clear, 
steadfast eyes, ant of which looked a grand soul, who 
spoke to him as a man capable of comprehending honour. 
Yes, he would owe her that. Well, he wonld owe her 
something else too. Bat whatever he would do must be 
done quickly, before the spell — that he knew was only a 
spell after all, and that might never be renewed — was 
worn o£T. 

* I talk to you as I never thought I would talk to any- 
one again/ he said, pausing abruptly. 'You've roused 
more good than I thought was in me, and though it's only 
to make me more wretched, still I thank you,' and for the 
first time he lifted the tattered cap from the matted locks, 
that in all their savage untidiness could not quite conceal 
the grandly massive head. ' It's something, sure, to know 
that I'm not all devil yet. No, no, don't expect too much. 
Not all devil, but most part ; so I'll tell you the most I'll 
do for you. You come to educate a girl to take your 
place, that she may not only enjoy what you might have, 
but enjoy it with honour ? f 

She bent her head. 

* I could not do otherwise. It is hers, not mine. I 
should yield it to her in any case, educated or not.' 

* Well, the idea pleases me. If anyone told me an hour 
ago you'd propose it, I'd have let that man go safe on the 
loneliest common as either a madman or a natural. You 
can have the girl on one condition — that you say not a 
word to Lord Ingram to hint that you got her, or a word 
to her that I'm nothing but a vagabond to her, that I've no 
right even to the kindly thought she might have for such a 
father as me.' 

* For how long ? * 


' For how long ? Till I tell you.' 

' How can I promise what I know I could not do ? 
Give me a time, and I will keep your conditions/ 

' Then when Lord Ingram craves for the love even of 
the wretched child he welcomed so scurvily, he'll get back 
his daughter, and — you'll lose your inheritance.' 

' Till then he must be a poor lonely old man ? ' 

' Till then his pride will be enough for him. Will he 
be as lonely as me, that cry night and day for my outcast, 
and can't get her back ? When he is, don't I tell you he'll 
be heard ? ' 

Were it in her power to restore this timid, awkward 
girl, even with a full assurance of being able to keep he:*, 
would Lord Ingram thank her ? She could not tell whether 
his pride might not be stronger than his paternal affec- 
tion ; the latter certainly would not be equal to the public 
disgrace which would be the consequence of going to cross 
purposes with this gloomy man, who so curtly announced 
his unalterable determination. She would therefore consent 
to work and wait. 

' I agree to your proposition,' she said, fixing her grave 
young eyes on the robber ; ' I give you my word, and I hold 
you to yours. I trust you so far.' 

' Done,' he responded gloomily. ' I can't answer for 
myself. I tell you plainly I don't trust you.' 

' It is not necessary,' she said, with a haughty smile. 
' All I require is that you do not thwart my precautions for 

' Well, well, you've talked me over, and ' — he turned 
with a suddenness that made her start for the first time, 
' at least I thank you that for a few minutes I forgot I 


waa a convict, a thief, an outlaw, and fancied myself again 
a man not utterly incapable of honour or trust.' 

He lifted hi* ragged hat with a strange semblance of 
courtesy, and went out. Miss Ingram overtook the 

' How is Kate, doctor ?' 

There was a strange glitter of triumph mingling 
queerly enough with her anxiety for the answer. 

* Much the same.' 
' May I see her ?' 

' If you like to catch it.' 

'I am not afraid.' 

He did not like that strange confab with that ill- looking 
tramp, so he did not seek to dissuade her. 

Yes, much the same. The same great pity for all 
running through the sick girl's ravings ; the same pathetic 
prayer. Jenny Joy looked suspiciously at the lady. 

' She would have a better chance of recovery if Rhe could 
be moved,' said Miss Ingram. Jenny looked up fiercely. 

* She shan't be moved,' said Dr. Dalzell curtly. 
4 At least, then, let me help to nurse her.' 

* No,' said Jenny; 'not while I'm alive, and least of all 

* You distrust me,' said Miss Ingram, looking quietly 
at Jenny Joy. * Why ?' 

Jenny Joy was not easily abashed, but there was some- 
thing in the grave, quiet look that made her feel sorry for 
her fierceness. 

* I don't know why,' she said, stretching her hands pro- 
tectingly over Kate as if to shield her from this stranger, 
whose fair face fascinated her in spite of herself. * I only 
know Kate shan't be left in your hands.' 


4 1 am sorry you will not let me help you. But I have 
a request to make of you ; ' and she drew near to the elf. 
Putting her hand on the thin shoulder, and looking down 
into the dark eyes, she continued : — 

* When she is well, don't spirit her away again. You 
gave me a great deal of trouble, but I bear you no ill-will, 
because you did it from love to her.' 

'And what right have you to dodge her steps, and 
make her life a misery ?' was the fierce rejoinder. 
' I had my own reasons.' 
' And I had mine.' 

* I know you had, but you will have them no longer 
when I tell you that by hiding Kate from me you will 
greatly injure her.' 


' You are very exacting, but you are her friend, there- 
fore 1 will tell you. I will trust you, and you must trust 

' No, I won't,' was the impetuous interruption. ' I 
don't want confidences that way. I'm not going to trust 
farther than I see.' 

4 Well, still I will trust you,' said the lady, with a 
gentleness that Jenny disliked, because she felt it was 
conquering her. Still she listened attentively to a few 
low-spoken words. She made no reply when the lady had 
finished, she did not speak while Miss Ingram took a 
last sorrowful look at the restless patient. Only when she 
was gone, and the doctor had been summoned away, she 
flung herself passionately beside the bed. 

* And to think, my darling, that they should only come 
now ! Oh, why didn't they come a little sooner ?' 




Recovering slowly, very slowly, bat still recovering. That 
was the news now from the little room where the doctor 
had established his head-quarters. That was the news 
that spread throughout the whole building, through every 
ward where there was a patient with sense enough to 
comprehend, among convalescents, who raced about like 
madmen at the thought that they had not killed their little 
nurse after all. 

Yes, recovering. Getting back the power to wonder, 
and speculate, and fear, and remember. Almost the first 
thing that excited her curiosity was what had become of 
Number Thirteen. He, too, was getting better, they told 
her, but not yet able to leave the hospital. Miss Ingram, 
remembering the petition of which he had been the 
subject, desired to see him, and as he had announced his 
intention of leaving very soon, the doctor acceded. 

4 1 sent him into my room,' he remarked, as he led the 
way. * What brought him into a hospital I can't 

4 Charlie !' 

4 Flossy !' 

They stood looking at each other, utterly unable to 
account for the meeting. At last Charlie turned laugh- 
ingly to the doctor. 

1 Will there be any danger in my shaking hands ?' 

4 None, if you don't dislocate your wrists.' 

4 How did you find me, Flossy ?' 


' I didn't find you at all. We all thought you were at 
Rome. Didn't you get leave of absence for a tour ?' 

' Ah ! Well, it's all right.' 

' But who let you come here ?' she demanded 

' My friends, Floss. But perhaps it's the best thing 
they could have done for me. Tell me all the news, 
though, first.' 

' Do you know who nursed you ?' 

' No. Who ?' 

She checked herself suddenly. 

'A young girl, Charlie, not more than fourteen, or 
perhaps fifteen. She nursed here for three months ; ever 
since the cholera raged, in fact, until just as your dis- 
ease took a favourable turn, she fell ill herself.' 

' Is she not better ?' 

' Yes. But what do you think of a child like that 
braving such dangers out of pure pity ?' 

' Think ! I think what every soul in this place thinks 
— that she is a heroine of the true stamp. Ah! You 
should hear the people in the ward I have just left speak- 
ing of their little nurse.' 

She was satisfied with the heartiness of the reply, and 
again the inexplicable look of triumph shone in her eyes. 

' The carriage will be here in half-an-hour, Charlie, and 
you must let me drive you to Merrion Square.' 

'I am first to see my little nurse and her brave com- 
panion, for you know there are two of them.' 

'Yes, and I know not to which to reward the palm, 
both are so generous, so true. Oh, Charlie ! you don't know 
how worthless I feel beside them.' 

She walked to the window as she spoke, and tapped 


the pane reflectively, while Charlie asked whether he could 
see the little nurse to-day. 

'No, not to-day/ she said, turning round suddenly. 
' She is not well enough.' 

' You have seen her then ?' 

' Certainly.' 

• Why ?' he asked, with a startling idea. She looked 
at him with a peculiar smile. 

' Why ? Is it only given to men to appreciate good- 
ness ? Cannot I reverence it, though I have it not ? 
Doctor, I want you to show me the places you promised. 
Not good-bye, Charlie ; I shall see you again.' 

She led the doctor out, never stopping till they were at 
the door of Kate's room. 

* It is not necessary he should see her, doctor, but you 
can tell him all her goodness.' 

'But I have promised.' And Dr. Dalzell was very 
much puzzled with himself that he was not more angry 
with this impertinent young lady who presumed to dictate 
to him. 

' But for my sake, doctor, and hers.' 

' Well ' 

' I know you will see to it. Now I want your assist- 
ance at a conference.' 

Sitting in a low chair by the window was the invalid. 
Jenny had just smoothed her cushion and arranged her 
footstool, all Miss Ingram's gifts. At the lady's bidding, 
the elf remained with her small, thin arms on the back of 
Kate's chair, and Dr. Dalzell drew two chairs near to the 
window. Miss Ingram looked at all three, and she saw 
Kate was the only one who trusted her. Nothing 
daunted, she began to speak. As she went on, Dr. Dalzell 


leant eagerly forward, and Jenny adopted a less menacing 

' No, no,' Kate said feebly. ' You are all wrong, Miss 

' No, my dear, I am all right, and all I want is that 
you should trust me.' 

What wondrous magic had she employed that the gruff 
doctor should rise and shake her hand and ask her pardon ? 
that Jenny should pour out the fulness of her confidence to 
atone for past suspicions ? What glamour had she thrown 
over these simple, unworldly people, to drive away their 
cautious resolves, their elaborate prudence ? 

Charlie Devereux did not get the opportunity of seeing 
the little nurse to thank her. He only caught a glimpse 
of her next day as she came down the staircase leaning on 
the doctor's arm, nodding a last good-bye to the patients 
who thronged the hall to shower upon her their passionate 
Irish blessings. 

' Heaven bless them both,' cried hundreds of voices as 
the two little nurses stepped into a close cab, ' and comfort 
their hearts in every sorrow as they comforted ours.' 

Then a wild cheer rang out from the throng of con- 
valescents, a cheer that was echoed wildly in the sick 
wards by lips that never spoke again even, by men dis- 
tracted by present pain. Again it rose, and clear and 
sweet and high was Charlie Devereux's voice, as he waved 
his cap with boyish exultation. Again, and yet again, it 
thrilled the hearts of the listeners, till it was taken up by 
the quickly collected multitude outside, many of whom 
had reason to divine the cause of the enthusiastic shouts 
that now resounded in the open air like a magnificent 


chonw, a grand hymn of triumph, before which Dr. Dal- 
zell stood bareheaded. 

A lady leaned out of the carriage. 

* Doctor, does Mr. Devereux see this farewell?' 

' See it !' he exclaimed, trying in vain to speak calmly. 
' He should be blind and deaf not to see and hear it. For- 
tnnately he is neither, so he helps to swell the anthem.' 

Then the cab drove slowly away, and Dr. Dalzell re- 
turned to his kingdom. 

A carriage with blazoned panels and armorial bearings 
had been stopped with the throng, and could only more 
forward now. Two gentlemen sat inside, both wonderfully 
handsome with a grand patrician beauty ; both with cold, 
stern blue eyes, in which lurked a mighty shadow. 

' What is it, Blennerhasset ?' demanded the elder man, 
as the wild shouts rose and swelled and died and rose 
again, and filled the air with a mad enthusiasm. Rohan 
Blennerhasset leant out of the carriage window, and saw 
over the heads of the crowds a close cab before the hos- 
pital, a bareheaded man standing on the lowest step. But 
he could make nothing of it ; and again the hearty cheer 
resounded, not from within alone, but from the crowd 
without as well, thrilling him in spite of himself. 

' Why are the people shouting r' he asked of a man 
standing almost nnder the carriage wheels, while even 
Lord Ingram looked out. The voice of a multitude had 
stirred his heart as he had not thought it could be stirred. 

' It is their farewell to the little nurses, sir. Sure it's 
myself that ought to know. God bless them ! ' and he 
lifted his tattered hat with a reverential courtesy that a* 
times transforms the Irish peasant into one of Nature's 


' Who are they ? Ladies, I suppose V For Rohan 
Blennerhasset could not conceive such demonstrations in 
honour of less than a Florence Nightingale. 

'Ladies ! Oh, yes, sir, though not your sort, maybe. It's 
poor they are in money, but their hearts are rich, sure 
enough. They wor work-girls, sir, afore they wor nurses 
for the love of Heaven.' 

' Work-girls ? ' 

The scarcely expressed contempt did not escape the 
quick-witted labourer. 

' Sure, sir, it's not grudge them the glory ye would ? 
You see, sir, you grand folks have royal salutes ; we have 
no guns to fire, so this is our royal salute ; ' and again ho 
joined the cheer and waved his cap till the street looked 
like a waving forest. 

' They were very good, then ?* Lord Ingram said. 

' Good, sir ? Ah ! It's not the like of them ye have 
in all yer grand carriages. That's why we give them the 
salute straight from our hearts instead of from guns.' 

The cab passed slowly. Every woman in the crowd 
uttered a benediction that like a low, rich melody per- 
vaded the atmosphere. Every man lifted his hat, and in- 
voluntarily the two gentlemen did the same. Then the 
throng dispersed, the road was cleared, and the carriage 
moved on. 

'Ah!' said Lord Ingram, with an accent of despair, 
'you see it is possible to be good and poor.' 

Rohan B^nnerhasset knew to what he alluded, but he 
knew not how to comfort him. 

' Yes,' he said at length, ' it is possible, but it is very 





Rohan Blennerhasset called at Merrion Square the next 
day, and found only Mrs. Chirrup at home. He could see 
there was a trouble that was not at home in the kindly 
eyes, and ho wondered was it the trouble that perplexed 

The servant suddenly threw open the door to admit 
Miss Ingram. She came in with the rich pink in her 
cheeks, tho dazzling light in her eyes, the brilliancy of 
triumph clothing her lithe form : splendidly beautiful she 
looked, though there was not a feature in her face that 
would bear criticism. 

' You look like one who has just won a great victory, ' 
he said almost involuntarily, as, after a distant salutation, 
ho placed a chair for her. 

* Well, I have just had a great success,' she said, look- 
ing frankly — audaciously, he thought — at him. 

Mrs. Chirrup dropped her knitting-pins, and looked at 
her niece, the trouble deepening before her beauty. 

' What do you mean ?' she said tremulously. 

' Oh, only some private business of my own, godmother,' 
said the girl, with a gay laugh. 

' Good Heavens ! How heartless she is,' thought Mr. 

'Are you going to this grand literary soiree, Mr. 
Blennerhasset P ' 


' No. I don't appreciate those gatherings/ he said 

' I'm shocked at your bad taste. I wouldn't miss it 
for anything.' 

' I thought you had refused, my dear ? ' 

' So I did, godmother, but that was when I was in a 
bad humour. I am quite a different person now, and I 
mean to not only go, but to enjoy myself thoroughly, since 
I can do so now with a good heart.' 

There was a jubilant sound in her voice that seemed to 
fulfil the worst forebodings of the two people who heard 

' Oh, my dear, my dear, I wish ' 

The plaintive tone stirred Miss Ingram, spite of the 
cynical eyes she felt on her. 

' Wish what ? ' she said very gently, going over to her 

' I don't know, my dear, I don't know. I think it is 
that you would tell me why you are so gay to-day.' 

c Because I am so happy, godmother.' 

' Happy, child ?' 

' Yes, godmother ; happy as one is when one's labours 
are crowned with success, when one's wishes are gratified 
to the full, when, after a long period of anxiety and 
doubt, one is at last filled with a proud security that no- 
thing can shake.' 

Mrs. Chirrup beat her head under the awful triumph 
that was such humiliation to her, and murmured words 
that her niece did not hear. 

' Heaven forgive me for my share of it,' she said. 

' There's Charlie,' said Miss Ingram, as a carriage 
drove to the door, and she rushed from the room with as 


buoyant a step as though she were not the trouble of two 
good, honourable hearts. 

' Charlie, you needn't say anything about seeing me at 
the hospital.' 

' All right, Floss ;' and in another instant Mrs. Chirrup 
had almost forgotten her own troubles in listening to 
Charlie's comical account of his adventures. 

' In the hospital ? ' was repeated in every tone of the 
gamut. Even Rohan Blennerhasset, who was astonished 
at nothing, was a little startled. 

' How was it you never sent us word ?' 

' What was the good ? I didn't know anything about 
it till I was getting well.' 

' What hospital were you in ?' asked Mr. Blennerhasset. 

' St. Anne's.' 

' And when did you leave ?' 

' Yesterday, late.' 

' Yesterday,' said Mrs. Chirrup, in a tone of reproach. 

' It was really late, auntie,' he said, in the old coaxing 
way, ' and I was awfully hungry, you know. Now, don't 
look shocked, you ethereal people ; not altogether basely 
hungry, but craving for a decent dinner with clean 
napkins and decanters, and a black-coated waiter — a 
dinner that wouldn't be devoured by a hundred hungry eyes 
before I touched it. Besides, I didn't care to come here 
straight from the hospital.' 

' To be sure, my dear,' said Mrs. Chirrup, with a sudden 
touch of prudence. 'You had to change your things. 
You burnt the ones you wore, I hope ? ' 

'Indeed, I did nothing so extravagant.' 

'But you must, my dear. On no account forget it. 
I'll come to your room, and fumigate them myself.' 


Charlie stood up and made a low bow. 
'Your Majesty will be most welcome to my poor 

* If you only left last night, you know something of the 
cheering and shouting/ Mr. Blennerhasset remarked. 

4 1 should rather think I do. I never thought a sick 
man could have such lungs as I had yesterday ; because you 
know, auntie, 1 and he turned pathetically to Mrs. Chirrup, 
* you know I'm an invalid yet, and want a great deal of 

' You don't mean to say you cheered ? ' said Blenner- 

' Indeed I did most lustily.' 

* What for?' 

' What for ? Why, man, for my life, and when I think 
of it I could do it again ; ' and he flung his hat to the 
ceiling, in defiance of the safety of the precious ornaments 
on the table. 

' Did they nurse you ?' 

' They did just. The one that nursed me through the 
worst of it I only saw yesterday, but when I was getting 
sensible I was looked after by a little witch who nursed 
her friend and me, and goodness knows how many more. 
I'll never forget her face. Heaven bless them both, 
wherever they're gone to.' 

'Heaven bless them,' repeated Mrs. Chirrup solemnly. 
' So they nursed you, my dear boy ?' 

'Yes, auntie, and nursed me well, or I shouldn't be 
quite so saucily inclined to-day.' 

'But who were they? Is it true they were poor girls?' 
demanded Blennerhasset. 

' Quite true, I believe.' 

VOL. II. d 


' And what an ovation they received.' 

'What does it matter who they were,' interposed Miss 
Ingram, ' since yon have been told what they were ? ' 

She stopped, as she perceived Lord Ingram. There 
was a something in the monrnful dignity of this man, so 
prond in spite of the disgrace that had turned his grey 
hairs to white, that checked freedom of speech. 

* I hope I have not interrapted you, Miss Ingram.' 

' We were speaking of two poor girls, uncle,' she said, 
with a strange, gentle tenderness, * who without money, 
home, friends, education, without a single advantageous 
circumstance, have made themselves a name and a fame, a 
home in the hearts of a multitude.' 

He bent his head as she paused to show he heard. 

' Was it not a brave thing to do, uncle ?' she went on, 
laying her hand caressingly on the arm of his chair. ' To 
brave this terrible cholera, to live for three months in its 
very mouth, not for money, not for praise, for pure pity ? 
Would you not feel proud if anyone belonging to you were 
capable of such deeds ? Even though they were poor and 
ignorant and untaught, would you not feel it an honour to 
claim them ? Would you not feel proud of me if I soared 
high, high above those who were my superiors in educa- 
tion, in fortune, in all life's wonderful blessings ?' 

He looked up suddenly. 

' You are a good girl, Beatrice, a good girl ; better than 
I ever thought, than I had ever any right to expect,' he 
said, with a sincerity that shocked Mrs. Chirrup and dis- 
gusted Blennerhasset. 

' Gracious Heavens, so young, and such a hypocrite ! 
She has wound this poor man round her finger.' 

' You should have seen the farewell given to those poor 


children yesterday. The air was rent with shouts ; hun- 
dreds assembled to take a last look at the little nurses. 
But Charlie can tell you all about it better than I 

' I did see something of it ; ' and Lord Ingram passed 
his hand wearily across his forehead. 

' Ah ! And it was such a farewell as two princesses 
might have had ; no, but two queens enthroned in the 
hearts of those people for whom they had served and 
suffered. It was something to be remembered, was it 

Her eyes flashed, the colour deepened, as she spoke 
rapidly, excitedly. 

* Royalty seldom gets such a farewell as that,' said 
Charlie ; ' and yet it was not half good enough.' 

' You are enthusiastic too ? ' 

* Yes, my lord ; I have reason to be. I shall never 
speak of those two young girls without lifting my hat.' 

* You will remember this, uncle,' Miss Ingram said 
eagerly ; * you will remember this reverence, you will re- 
member this testimony to goodness, you will remember 
that borne yesterday by hundreds of witnesses. Think of 
it day and night ; think of it, and let the thought of it be 
as a ray of the light of Heaven.' 

4 1 know you would comfort me,' Lord Ingram said in 
a low voice, ' but you cannot.' 

"* Only think of it, uncle. It must comfort you soon r 
or later.' 

The inspiration of her courage seemed to revive Lord 
Ingram ; it terrified Mrs. Chirrup, while Mr. Blenner- 
hasset, unable any longer to contain himself, bid them 
good-bye, and left the house with Charlie. 

d 2 


' She is a dear, good, brave little girl, is she not ?* said 
Charlie admiringly. 

Rohan Blennerhasset did not answer; he only mur- 

'He, too, is in the trap. What witchery is this woman 
possessed of that she befools us to our faces P for I am as 
bad as the rest ; worse, since I kick against my chains, and 
they hug theirs.' 

Mrs. Chirrup resumed her knitting for a while, then 
dropped it, took it up again, and finally laid it on her lap, 
as Lord Ingram left the room. 

' Flossy.' 

* Yes, godmother.' 

It was such a fresh, cheery young voice, she could have 
struck herself for daring to think it could give an evil 
command. It gave her courage, and she made a desperate 

* My dear, did you never hear anything of — that poor 
child ? you know, my dear.' 

' What poor child ?' 

* That that man said — wanted to say was your uncle's ; 
that was accused of — stealing ?' 

* What's the good of thinking of her, godmother dear ? 
It can do no good to remember that sad time in connection 
with the name of Ingram; therefore I never recall it. 
Follow my example; forget it as though it had never 

* I cannot, my dear, I cannot indeed ; tell me ' 

' What should I tell you ? What can I tell you ?' 
' I don't know, but I am so miserable.' 

1 There is not the slightest occasion, I assure you. I 
am not miserable, and surely I would have more cause to 


be so than you. The only thing I desire is that yon will 
forget that poor ragged little girl who was driven to steal 
by her reputed father. We have no need of her. She has 
dropped out of our lives, out of the records of Ingram. Let 
it be so.' 

It was the first and last time Mrs. Chirrup alluded to 
the matter. She bowed her head, and took up the cross 
she had hewn for herself. 



The belle of three seasons, and not married yet. All the 
world was astonishted ; for no breath had come to shake 
Miss Ingram's position, that grew apparently stronger 
every day, more unassailable. The mad story of the tramp 
was well-nigh forgotten, all belief in it had died out, and 
no fresh claimant appeared for the heirship of Ingram. 
No wonder that she should enjoy herself. No wonder 
that day by day life grew more brilliant to her. 

Not married, but not from lack of lovers. If she had 
none she could strictly call her own, Ingram's Barony had 
many, her gold more, her wit and gaiety a few. But still 
she was not married, still she laughed at and with her 
admirers, still she nibbled at the puny baits held out, with 
intense amusement at the great, big clumsy hooks that 
never caught her. Still she was the same reckless, 
merry girl, evincing not the slightest desire to be settled 
comfortably, evidently desirous of nothing beyond en- 



And she had plenty of that. The world is very good- 
natured to heiresses, even when they are old and xigly 
and crabbed, much more when they are capable of re- 
ceiving all it has to give. 

Bewitching as ever, she had not yet removed the 
suspicions of her godmother and Mr. Blennerhasset, 
though at times she shook them terribly, a process 
which, after all, only tended to strengthen what was not 

The season was approaching, and a new whim seized 
the heiress. 

* Godmother, does it never strike you that I am very 
lonely P ' 

The gentle silver-haired, rosy-cheeked beauty looked 
up at the girl she had made the object of her life, nearer 
and dearer even than her pet nephew, Charlie Devereux. 
That was the only reproach she offered to a very ungrate- 
ful speech, but in an instant Beatrice was on her knees, 
the flossy curls bewilderingly entangled in the coquettish 
lace cap of the elder lady, the white arms round the tiny 
neck, so smooth, so perfectly curved yet. 

' Don't think me such a dreadful savage, out and out, 
darling. Of course I can never want anyone to love 
while I have you. What I meant was this — am I not 
sometimes at a disadvantage with girls who have sisters ? 
I should like to have some one to romp with in a lady- 
like sort of fashion, some one that could help me to 
do a thousand things girls like to do ; keep me company, 
and so countenance me in a mild flirtation or a cross- 
country ride.' 

'Well, I thought you had lots of young friends, 


* Except yourself, not one.' 

Mrs. Chirrup smiled at the comic sincerity of the reply, 
and patted the bright young head on which plotting sat 
so lightly. 

'Acquaintances, then, you saucy girl. There's our 
neighbour's daughter, Lady Mary, and at the other side, 
Margaret Dwyer.' 

* Yes, yes, but then I have to invite those girls if I 
want them. I want some one always with me, some one 
upon whom I feel I have a sort of a claim.' 

' The nearest approach to that would be a sister-in- 

' Thank you for the suggestion. It shall be attended 
to at the first opportunity. In the meantime could I not 
have a companion ? ' 

* I see nothing to prevent it, if you wish it. It is only 
natural you should wish for a girl in the house, and I was 
a selfish old woman not to think of it.' 

' If you were that, you would have thought of it long 
ago, instead of letting me drag you about.' 

* Lady Cashel would be likely to know some one to suit 
you. She always has scores of reduced ladies and officers' 
daughters wanting homes.' 

* Don't apply to her, for pity's sake. I don't want a 
reduced lady, who at every step would groan forth her 
lament for departed glories, and croon over the debasement 
of the most trifling thing required of her, in spite of the 
fact of her grammar being unmistakeable witness of a 
two-pair back, or else third-rate drawing-rooms and 
twopenny teas. As for the officers' daughters, a great 
many look more like officers' mothers. No, no, I want 
something brighter, fresher, stronger, something to ner 


me on to dare and do, for, godmother, you mnst know my 
life is not, cannot always be that of a butterfly.' 

She spoke with evident meaning that took the colour 
from the dainty cheeks of the dear little lady. It was the 
first time she had alluded to her skeleton. Would she 
take it out of its gory shroud and exhibit the precise form 
of the ghastly features ? If she did, would it, could it, do 
any good ? 

She didn't just then, at any rate. Instead of that she 
devoted herself, with an energy that appalled Mrs. 
Chirrup's easy-going notions, to the task of finding a 

In what precise way this energy expended itself, Mrs. 
Chirrup could not exactly tell. She knew that Beatrice 
was very busy, and drove about a good deal, but she could 
not find out where, without descending to a curiosity 
utterly beneath so true a gentlewoman. In a very short 
time, Miss Ingram announced that she had discovered the 
person to suit her, with unexceptionable references. Then 
there was more driving about, and a little fuss preparing a 
room for the expected inmate. 

It was not to be a room for a menial, she begged the 
housekeeper to understand. A lady who was good enough 
to be her companion was good enough to require a charm- 
ing apartment, replete with elegance and comfort. 

' Generous as ever,' was Mrs. Chirrup's comment on 
each fresh extravagance. 'Oh, she cannot have such a 
bad heart. It is impossible.' 

It was a beautiful sunshiny spring morning when Miss 
Ingram drove to the station to meet the expected com- 
panion. The train was not due for a few minutes, and 
Miss Ingram remained in the pony carriage, just outside 


the pretty little country station. The twitter of the birds 
■was suddenly broken into by the rapid tramp of horses' 
feet. There was that in the quick inspiriting sound of the 
impatient hoofs that brought a deeper colour to the fresh 
young face, and as she turned, Rohan Blennerhasset and 
Charlie Devereux drew up. She bowed to the former and 
extended her hand to Charlie, who, madcap as he was, 
hovered dangerously near. 

' How inviting that pony chaise looks, doesn't it, Blen- 
nerhasset? ' Charlie said mischievously. 

' A gallop will be more exhilarating.' 

He had no sooner uttered the words than he bit his lip. 
Miss Ingram coloured ever so slightly. It was but 
natural, seeing that she was a belle whose sway all 
acknowledged save this man, who was barbarian enough to 
blunt her pretty shafts of coquetry with downright rude- 
ness. Devereux laughed, as only this hazel-eyed, broad- 
chested young man, with the crown of chestnut curls, 
could laugh. It was the merry peal of exuberant spirits, 
nndimmed by fear for the future or remorse for the 

1 Then I tell you what. You take my horse home, and 
I'll crave a seat. A gallop will decidedly be best for you, 
since you appreciate it.' 

* Pardon me, I spoke for your benefit rather than my 
own,' said. the lawyer, with a vigorous effort at politeness. 
'Allow me to drive you home, Miss Ingram, and let 
Devereux take the horses for a gallop.' 

It was the first time he had ever offered her an un- 
necessary courtesy. Even while she answered she was 
wondering' why he did so. 

'Thank you,' she said, with a smile that was very 



sweet and very cold, ' but I should not like to separate two 
gentlemen, and I have only one seat to spare, as I wait for 
a friend.' 

* Don't talk nonsense, Flossy,' was Charlie Devereux's 
undignified rejoinder. * Yon don't want ns to believe John 
is pasted to the reins, or that the welfare of the ponies 
depends on him P He can take the horses home.' 

The train rushed past with a deafening whistle. With 
a graceful bow Miss Ingram took the reins from the servant, 
and drove up to the station door. Rohan Blennerhasset 
lifted his hat with haughty politeness, but Charlie dashed 
after the pony carriage, and dismounted just as Miss 
Ingram stepped out of the phaeton. 

' Well, of all the contrary things that ever I did see, 
girls are the most contrary,' he said, with a rueful shake of 
the head. ' Do you really hate that poor man so much, 
Floss ? Must I preach you a sermon on Christian charity ? ' 

A young girl had just alighted from a first-class carriage. 
Her dress was so simple and elegant that only a lady could 
have chosen it ; her face was of the very highest order of 
patrician beauty. Great dreamy eyes that looked wistfully 
about on the little crowd of strangers, who made such a 
surprising bustle on the little wooden platform, a pure, 
smooth forehead with arched eyebrows of the darkest 
brown, a tiny curving mouth, a faint rose tint that might 
be reality or only fancy in its ideal delicacy on the oval 
cheeks. Every feature was so exquisitely chiselled, the 
hands so perfectly moulded in their faultless covering, the 
figure so lithe, so marvellously graceful in its every curve, 
that had it not been for the searching expression of the 
eyes, it might have been some marble evidence of the 
ancients' surprising conception of human beauty. 


Miss Ingrain laid her hand on her cousin's arm. 

* Oh, Charlie, how very beautiful she is ! ' 

He looked in the direction she indicated, and remained 
silent. He feared to break the spell. He dreaded the 
moment when that pure emotionless vision should disturb 
the artistic repose of attitude, and descend by a sudden 
gesture to the level of ordinary men and women. Who 
was she? What did she there alone, this girl, whose 
diadem of beauty proclaimed her a queen, the lawful 
sovereign of hearts P 

He did not know whether to be pleased or vexed when 
Miss Ingram approached the stranger, holding out her 
hand with a smile of welcome. Would the spell be broken ? 

He was quite decided what to be when he saw that 
only a glory of life lit up the splendid features; that 
whether she walked, or stood, or spoke, or smiled, his 
artist's eye was to be gratified. 

' Charlie, my friend, Miss L'Estrange ; my madcap 
cousin, Charlie Devereux, Kate. 9 

* No, don't believe her, Miss L'Estrange,' said Charlie. 
* I'm quite the contrary 5 altogether of a serious turn. The 
only fault about me is that I'm too good-natured ; and 
when any of my young lady cousins — ahem ! — take it into 
their heads to play pranks, they always settle it on me. 
That's how I've got such a bad name, I assure you.' 

Miss Ingram was in a thoroughly good humour when 
she got back to the carriage. To her unspeakable surprise 
Mr. Blennerhasset renewed his request for a seat after an 
introduction to the stranger. He could not tell why he 
did so. He spoke and acted like a man who did so, not 
only against his better judgment, but absolutely against 
his will. 


Miss Ingram bowed assent with a strange mixture of 
pleasure and pain. He had never before asked a favour 
twice — never even once except when common politeness 
demanded it. Was it the supreme beauty of this young 
girl, whom she and she alone had brought to Ingram 
Court, that had effected this transformation? And yet 
he had been near loving her once. Yes, very near. She 
knew that. Was his allegiance so easily transferred P 

The two ladies sat with their faces to the ponies, Miss 
Ingram driving, the gentlemen opposite. 

Miss L'Estrange listened with a shy smile while Charlie 
did the honours of Ingram. Suddenly a change passed 
over her face. The faint but exquisite tinge of colour 
was displaced by an ashen hue. Mr. Blennerhasset, who 
had been looking quietly at her, was struck by the change. 
Had he glanced at Miss Ingram, he would have seen the 
paleness reflected in her face too, but his attention was 
riveted to the countenance of the companion. 

* Are you ill, Miss L'Estrange ? ' 

A frightened beseeching look came into her eyes — a 
look that was familiar, and yet, queerly enough, reminded 
him of a hunted animal. 

'No ' 

4 HI ?' interposed Miss Ingram, as she. actually struck 
the spirited ponies with an energy that caused them to 
prance wildly, and then dash forward at full speed. ' You 
seem to forget that variety is the most charming thing 
under the sun, and the most charming face is, therefore, 
the most changeable.' 

' At least it cannot be denied that you are an example 
of your theory,' the lawyer returned, his attention partially 
diverted from the figure of a man who, standing by 


the roadside, was visible to him as the ponies dashed on. 
Partially, bnt not quite, for there was something in the 
weird grandeur of that lonely figure standing out in 
solitary misery against the brightness and freshness of 
that glorious spring morning that attracted him ; a some- 
thing which involuntarily, almost unconsciously, he 
connected with the sudden pallor of the surpassingly 
beautiful face before him. 

Miss Ingram turned her attention to pulling in the 
ponies, and allowed the ball of conversation to drop. Mr. 
Blennerhasset fell to studying the face that was so new yet 
so familiar. 

' I do not know her, I feel certain, or T would at once 
recollect both the name and the face, yet I am positive I 
have seen her somewhere, sometime. Was it in a former 
existence, or in some separation of soul and body, when 
the spirit took note of shapes, and was heedless of details P 
Surely it is a face with a story, but of what ? Of evil 
yielded to, or struggled against ? Which is it ? * 



'At least confess, godmother, that my taste is irre- 
proachable. Could I have selected a more charming 
companion ? ' 

' Charlie seems to think you could not. 9 

Beatrice smiled, and Mrs. Chirrup added, uneasily, 


* He really seems very much struck. Since last night he 
has done nothing but watch her/ 

* Surely that does not annoy yon ? ' 

* It does, as it happens,' and Mrs. Chirrup spoke 
testily. 'You must know I have never quite yielded 
myself to the belief that the family compact of Ingram, 
and Devereux was to be dishonoured. Although there 
was no formal engagement of late, I never gave up the 
hope of seeing the word of Ralph Ingram redeemed.' 

'And that word was,' Beatrice said softly, 'that 
the heiress of Ingram should wed the young son of his 

'Yes, that was the promise your uncle gave at the 
birth of his daughter, a promise which he renewed at the 
death of his wife. When his daughter was ' 

' Drowned ' 

' And you stepped into her place, her duties as well as 
privileges devolved upon you. Your uncle clings to the 
hope of fulfilling his promise, in spite of what you and 
Charlie said three years ago ; in fact it is the one thing of 
interest left him.' 

' It was a very foolish promise,' said Miss Ingram, still 
in the same peculiar soft, low tone. 'Nevertheless, it 
shall not be my fault if it is not fulfilled.' 

Mrs. Chirrup uttered a cry of joy ; the next moment a 
pang of fear thrilled her heart. She had caught sight of 
two figures standing in the glorious sunlight of the early 
morning. A young man, handsome and noble, with his 
proud head bent towards the young girl, whose lovely 
wistful eyes were looking into his daring hazel orbs. 
What was she doing, this silver-haired lady P Was she in- 
terfering with destiny again ? 


No such fears disturbed Miss Ingrain. A magnificent 
smile irradiated the face so different to that of the 
beautiful stranger, so irregular in its features, so variable 
in expression, yet with such a power of showing the soul 

* Yes, he will love her, he cannot help it. And she will 
love him, she must, surely. He is so true, so brave, so 
grand in everything, this dashing, reckless cousin of mine, 
that if I were not a fool I should love him myself. Ah ! 
how happy we shall all be then. How I shall enjoy my 
revenge. And you will come so humbly, Monsieur Blen- 
nerhasset, and beg my pardon for your suspicions. But I 
shall not listen to your apologies. No, I shall not listen. 
I will not see your regret, I will only remember your 
cruelty ; I will show you that you are not the only one who 
can be relentlessly just; I shall, show you that I have pro- 
fited by the lessons you give me daily and hourly with 
your metallic voice, that has never an inflexion of a 
kindness that is not scorn, with your stern blue eyes, that 
are like those of Nemesis when she withholds her light- 
nings only from contemptuous pity. And you will 
entreat me to forget all that, but I shall not listen to your 
entreaties ; no, no, I shall not forget.' 

* I don't think they intend coming to breakfast. Hadn't 
you better call them ?/ 

' They're positively out of sight.' Miss Ingram darted 
out of the window and across the lawn to where a 
straggling, picturesque, moss-covered stone wall, not very 
high and very uneven, separated a part of the lawn from 
the park. There was a gate, of course, but Beatrice was 
in too good spirits to require such conveniences. Up the 
end she got, and ran along the wall like a disobedient 


child, in her white dress and blue sash, until she caught 
sight of Miss L'Estrange under a fragrant pine. 

' Boys, boys/ she shouted, clapping her hands in 
sheer excitement and exuberance of vitality, * come to 

The clear musical voice gave one the impression of 
anything rather than a decorous full-grown young 
lady, much less one who had been the belle of three 

'Upon my word, Flossy, you ought to be ashamed 
of yourself,' said the dignified voice of Charlie Devereux. 

* I ought to be, but I'm sorry to say I ain't.' 

' Then I am for you. Up on a wall, scampering like a 
tomboy. Go home, child, you've shocked me out of all 
propriety for the day.' 

'I deny that flat. It's impossible to lose what you 
never had. Come on, Kate, I'll help you up.' 

' Miss L'Estrange and I will go round by the gate, Miss 

c All right, I'll come too. Catch me, Charlie.' 

The ground here was much lower than at the other 
side, sloping into a tiny valley. The gentleman behind 
the pine tree, startled at the prospect of such a leap, 
sprang forward and caught the laughing madcap as she 

She looked up in dismay at the haughty countenance 
of Mr. Blennerhasset, never more stern than now. With- 
out even a salutation she turned her crimson face to her 
cousin, who greeted her with uncontrollable laughter. 

* I asked you to catch me, Charlie.' 

' I couldn't have been in time, Floss, and I'm sure you 
ought to be polite enough to thank Blennerhasset. I can 


assure yon it's not everyone he would sustain such a weight 
in his arms. I have seen him let the dowager Countess of 
Kerry hold her cnp for a quarter of an hour, waiting for 
some one to take it.' 

She was not a bit changed since she had charged down, 
in her unreasoning happiness, on Constance Bouverie in 
the chequered glade. She was still the same unrestrained 
child, with her passion for violent exercise. A pretty one 
indeed, for him, Rohan Blennerhasset, to think of for a 
wife — a girl who raced along a stone wall not a foot 
wide, high here and low there, and had not the grace 
to be ashamed of it, or to be anything but angry that he 
should be the luckless individual to catch her. 

What made him accept the invitation to breakfast, and 
tie his horse to a tree till a servant should come round ? 
It was a question that puzzled him no less than it did Miss 
Ingram. He had often refused more ceremonious invita- 
tions, Beatrice said to herself. Why, then, did he accept 
now? Again the thought of the previous day crossed her 
with a sickening fear in its train. Was it the glamour of 
her companion's beauty. She thought it must be ; and as 
for Rohan Blennerhasset, he thought it must be anything 
but what it really was. Not even to himself would he 
allow that the momentary touch of a tiny hand on his 
shoulder, the wave of tangled curls across his cheek, could 
have unmanned him, and rendered him incapable of act- 
ing with his usual Spartan hardness. By the time he had 
reached Mrs. Chirrup's breakfast-room, he had quite con- 
vinced himself that his motive for remaining was pure 
curiosity as to Miss L'Estrange, whom he felt convinced he 
had seen before, though a faint glimmering of something else 

VOL. II. e 


oaused him to wrap himself up in more than usually im- 
penetrable defence of haughty indifference. 

Such a merry breakfast table as it was. Miss Ingram 
had quite made up her mind that she didn't care if twenty 
Mr. Blennerhassets scowled at her for a romp on a wall. 
It was nothing wicked ; and what wasn't wicked couldn't 
be wrong, and what wasn't wrong must be right. Miss 
L'Estrange, with those wonderful beseeching eyes of hers, 
completely disarmed Mrs. Chirrup of all suspicion or 
jealousy of her surprising beauty, and converted the single- 
hearted lovely little lady into her firm friend. 

* Poor young thing !' Mrs. Chirrup said remorsefully, as 
she noted the sweep of the heavy lashes on the pale cheek, 
' she has seen trouble, it is in her eyes ; and yet I must 
needs be harsh and suspicious. Heaven forgive me ! ' 

Charlie Devereux very soon had plans drawn out for 
the day's amusement — plans, in every one of which Mr. 
Blennerhasset, to his amazement, found himself included, 
and out of which it was impossible to get. In vain he 
struggled. Charlie, with a villainous laugh, drew his 
meshes the tighter. 

* Don't talk nonsense ! ' — that was a favourite piece of 
advice with Charlie. * Don't you see it would be impos- 
sible for me to look after two ladies and drive a four-in- 
hand at the same time ? And the drag is the only possible 
conveyance to Derrynane; it's much too far for a light 
phaeton, and they might as well stay at home as be boxed 
up in the family hearse.' 

Excuses were of no avail ; with a diabolical ingenuity 
Charlie turned each one presented into a reason for obeying 
him, until politeness forbade any further being offered, and 


Miss Ingram summoned her companion to a conference in 
her room. 

' How do yon like it, Elate ? ' she asked, as she sat down 
on an ottoman beside her friend, twining her arms round 

* How do I like it ? I should be the most ungrateful of 
human beings not to like it well. You are all too good 
to me.' 

* Have I not forbidden you to talk like that ? What 
have you to be grateful for ? Except, perhaps, the deep 
love I have for you, Kate.' 

c It is just for that I am so grateful. That includes 
everything else.' 

' You are wrong, my dear. I would give you all else, 
even though I did not love you.' 

' Ah, I should not like that.' 

' There is no fear of it. Now, what are you going to 
wear ? I am your majesty's mistress of the robes for the 

* No, no ; it is royalty stooping to take note of her 
subject,' said Kate L'Estrange, as she looked with admira- 
tion at the animated brilliancy of the belle of Dublin. 
There was a charming deference in the tone of the taller 
and statelier girl to the wilful young lady that had not 
escaped thS lawyer's notice, and which he wondered at as 
the result of a consideration — £ s. d. It was in vain that 
Miss Ingram deprecated this deference, and demonstrated 
the perfect right her companion had to all the good things 
provided for her. It was in vain she flung aside contemp- 
tuously the barriers of rank and fortune, not to lower 
herself, but to draw the hired stranger up to an equality in 
all things. Miss L'Estrange, with the persistency that 

b 2 



sometimes marks quiet, even timid, natures, would not be 
denied her right to do homage to one whose nobility she 
could comprehend and appreciate. At length Miss Ingram 
found herself provoked by this determined submission into 
something of that delicious imperiousness which was 
natural to her, but which she would have laid aside with 
Kate had she been permitted, the wilful authority that at 
the same time bewitched and alienated Rohan Blenner- 

Having dictated the attire her companion was to wear 
she retired, and summoned Cerise. A happy smile hovered 
on her lips as she submitted to the maid, and occasionally 
she murmured to herself, 

'Yes, he will love her, and she will love him. My 
promise to godmother. Ah ! What of that ?' 

It did not seem to trouble her very much, for she only 
laughed merrily to herself. A Sigh she could scarcely 
control checked her mirth. 

' I shall have courage to go through with it. I do not 
do myself the injustice to fear that I shall fail. Oh, no. 
But the afterwards — I must not think of that.' 

Was she at last beginning to dread remorse, this bright 
young lady, who for three years had dispensed favours and 
received homage to which she was no more e.n titled than 
the veriest beggar ? 




A carriage with the Ingram arms stopped at the corner of 
a narrow street in the village of Rosehill, about ten miles 
from Ingram. Two ladies stepped out, and proceeded on 
foot through the narrow, tortuous windings. The dress of 
both was exceedingly simple and rich, and an air of dis- 
tinction pervaded their every movement. Strange persons 
to be walking in a narrow lane with high houses on either 
side, to stop at one of the dirtiest and dingiest of the 
dwellings enquiring if Miss Joy lived there. The question 
was addressed to a flabby-looking child, busy in the gutter 
kneading dough for an abundance of mud pies, who looked 
up in stupid wonderment at the ladies. 

* Who is it ? * 
' Miss Joy.' 

The child stared for a minute, then returned to her 
kneading, remarking, * I dunno.' 

A little urchin at marbles stopped his game to listen. 
He looked a brighter subject, but on the question being 
addressed to him he shook his head. 

' The dressmaker of the theatre,' the lady explained. 

* Ah ! maybe it's the witch you mean ; she lives up 
there,' and he pointed to the topmost window of a house a 
story higher than any other in the street. It was worth 
trying, the ladies decided, and they made their way to the 
house indicated. 

High up above her neighbours, with a whole attic to 



herself, the dressmaker of the Theatre Royal sat at work. 
Being a small person, she was perched on a high stool by 
the window, and drawn np close to her was a table littered 
with bright garments ; a clown's costume, a harlequin's 
jacket, a columbine's skirt, a Spanish hat with the plume 
torn, a velvet doublet, a white satin dress rather draggled 
at the bottom, and an enormous quantity of yellow 

She worked with a will, this very small dressmaker. 
Only now and then she raised her head to nod to the 
twittering canary, whose cage was perched exactly oppo- 

A genius in a small way, the dressmaker of the Theatre 
Royal had a passion for devising quaint picturesque 
costumes after a fashion of her own. These costumes had 
become immensely popular, and she had as much as she 
could do, day and night. 

' How happy I am ! '- she said several times, as if to 
impress the fact upon herself. ''I have plenty of work, 
and good pay ; I have a room and two windows, and a 
canary all to myself. What more can I want ? Oh, yes, 
I am very happy.' 

Her quick ear caught the sound of footsteps on what 
she called her own stairs. 

* If it's grown-ups they've come to stare, and they'll 
go away with an excuse ; if it's children they've come for 
the same, and they'll go away with a giggle. Which do I 
hate most ; the excuse or the giggle, the big or the little 
people ? ' 

0i ' Come in, come in,' she said impatiently, as a knock 
came to the door. ' See what you want to see, and you'll 
.30 away the sooner.' 


The rich colour suddenly dyed her face, but she did 
not get off her stool. 

* You're welcome as the daylight, my dear,' she said, 
with a sort of protecting fondness, as a young girl put her 
arm round her. ' Sit down, Miss Ingram, if you please ; 
I don't stand up, you see, because it takes me so long to 
get up again.' 

' You're not going to make a stranger of me,' said Miss 

' You're like a sunbeam coining into the room,' Jenny 
said, looking at the wilful heiress as she drew her chair 
close to the table. Then she stroked the fair young head 
beside her. 

; • And what is Elate like, Jenny P ' 

' A bit of ivy, just ; nothing else in the world.' 

' And yourself ? ' 

' Me ! sure I'm only like what I am — a witch.' 

' Then you're a dear, nice little witch,' Miss Ingram 
said, pushing away the table that she might come closer 
' and you must tell us our fortunes.' 

' Sorrow bit till I have heard all the news.' 

Then began a merry babel of tongues that irritated the 
canary into a prolonged whistle almost deafening, till Jenny 
Joy took the cage and shook it. 

1 And so he didn't know you ? ' she said, turning from 
the bird. * But you knew him soon enough ; and yet it 
was you saved his life, not he yours.' 

'I saw Mr. Devereux more than he saw me, you 
know,' Kate said. 

' He saw you once ; was not that enough ? ' 

* But I have changed.' 

4 And those are the people you were afraid to go among, 


for fear of whom you begged Miss Ingram to leave you in 
obscurity. Now you see that you needn't be frightened 
about it. What will they offer you that will weigh you 
down ? Not even gratitude.' 

4 Don't be too hard on Charlie, Jenny ; I wanted you 
to be particular friends,' Miss Ingram said, in her pretty 
imperious way. 

' Oh ! to think he should not know her after having 
seen her with a knowledge that should have printed her 
face on his memory. If I saw one to whom I knew I owed 
my life, do you think I could forget ? Oh ! my pearl, my 
pure precious pearl, go among these people, they will have 
none like you so good, so true. And to think he shouldn't 
have known you ! Ah ! you don't know the dream that 
man has destroyed this day, worse luck to him.' 

1 What dream, Jenny ? ' 

1 Oh ! a pretty, pretty dream, mavourneen. I sit here 
dreaming all alone while I work, and I dreamed a sweet 
charming dream that seemed so true, that has turned out 
so worthless.' 

* Generally the way with dreams.' 

' Don't say that. I can't do without my dreams, achora. 
I can't do without my belief that they'll come true some 
time, so don't try to make me wise.' 

' But what was this particular dream ? ' Miss Ingram 
enquired coaxingly. 

* Pretty, mavrone ! But no good, you see. I'll tell it to 
you some day, Miss Ingram, when I have replaced it.' 

* What are these intended for ? ' 

' That's a Spanish lady's dress ; and that's a bride's.' 

* Can I try this on, Jenny ? ' 


' To be sure you can. That's a gipsy's jacket and pet- 

Miss Ingram proceeded to array herself in the brown 
petticoat and scarlet jacket, merely removing her lace 
scarf. Peals of laughter broke from the three, as Miss 
Ingram placed the dilapidated hat back on her head. 

' Now if I had only a tambourine I'd sing you a song.' 

' There's one in that corner.' 

* Charming. Now, Kate, you'll please to stop laughing, 
and sit down there next to Jenny.' 

The sense of the ludicrous was lost in the charm of the 
song the sweet young voice sang, and a knocking at the 
door was unheeded. Jenny Joy leant forward on her 
table, her sharp chin on her hands, her elfish eyes fixed on 
this fair — but not all orthodox — impersonation of a 
gipsy countess. Kate, sitting beside her, was scarcely less 
absorbed, and the knocking was repeated. At length it 
ceased, and Miss Ingram had sung the first part of what 
was really a duet. She was preparing to begin the second 
part, when a manly voice took up the strain at the other 
side of the door. The three girls stared at each other in 
amazement, but after the first moment of surprise, Miss 
Ingram, still standing in the middle of the room, continued 
the tinkling accompaniment. When the part for her voice 
came, she took up her part with an engouement that showed 
she was not in the least disconcerted by the unexpected 

' It's certainly Charlie,' she said, with a merry laugh. 

* And supposing it's Charlie,' retorted the voice outside, 

* don't you think Charlie has earned a right to come in ? ' 

Another peal of laughter, and Miss Ingram called out, 

* Come in, Charlie.' 


The door opened, admitting Charlie Deverenx and Rohan 
Blennerhasset. The two gentlemen stopped short at sight 
of Miss Ingram's remarkable costume — the lawyer in some- 
what disgusted surprise, Charlie in a burst of ludicrous 
mirth that all his efforts at politeness could not suppress, 
and in which Miss Ingram could not help joining to save 
her life. She had, like most of her race, an unfortunately 
keen sense of the ridiculous, and though she would have 
given worlds for Mr. Blennerhasset not to have seen her, 
yet the thought of how she must look to him was irresis- 
tibly tickling. 

' Oh, you look so nice, Flossy.' 

* I know,' she said coolly, quite determined not to let 
Mr. Blennerhasset's cold glance fathom her discomfiture. 
* But what brought you here, Mr. Devereux ? ' 

For answer he advanced to the dressmaker of the 
Theatre Royal, stretching out his hand, a bright smile on 
his frank, handsome face. 

'I heard you lived here, Miss Joy, and I took the 
liberty of coming to see you, though I don't know if you 
will remember one out of so many patients.' 

'My memory is pretty good, Mr. Devereux,' she re- 
sponded tartly, ' but I don't remember your friend.' 

' Mr. Blennerhasset, Miss Jenny Joy,' said Charlie, with 
the gravity of a master of the ceremonies. The lawyer 
bowed, and Jenny Joy fixed her bright black eyes on him. 

'Young ladies, maybe you'd sit on the settle; there's 
only the two chairs. Oh, sit down, sit down,' she continued 
irritably, ' I hate people standing about like pillars.' 

Thus bidden, they sat down, Charlie drawing his chair 
very close to the table. 

' You're not a bit changed, Miss Jenny.' 


' Miss Joy, if yon please. 9 

1 Do you remember how you used to scold me ? ' 

* If I do, I remember bow you used to deserve it.' 
1 You very nearly pulled my hair one morning.' 

'Not that you had much to pull, for all you would take 
your cap off. My heart was nearly broke with you for a 
fidgeting madcap.' 

' How did you come here, Flossy ? ' 

' On my feet.' 

* So did I. Now that's what I call remarkable. But 
you never told me you knew Miss Joy.' 

* Which shows I don't tell everything.' 

'Most ladies can keep secrets that suit them,' Mr. 
Blennerhasset remarked drily. His chair was drawn a 
little behind the settle, and Miss Ingram felt that his con- 
temptuous, criticising eye was resting on her the whole 
time. Her colour deepening, her eyes flashing under an 
undefinable feeling of resentment, her hair loosened partly 
by the hasty removal of the high-crowned hat, the scarlet 
jacket coming up to the white throat, she looked pro- 
vokingly pretty. She allowed Mr. Blennerhasset and Miss 
L'Estrange to converse, while Charlie was employed in 
4 butthering up and slithering down ' the sharp-faced little 
nurse who had bullied him so unmercifully three years 
ago ; but Mr. Blennerhasset began to be unpleasantly con- 
scious that, though his remarks were addressed to the 
gentle, aristocratic girl who sat nearest to him, both his 
eyes and his thoughts were with the perverse young lady 
who had so little regard for the proprieties as to come to 
the attic of a theatrical dressmaker to sing songs and trick 
herself out in stage costume. 




' Godmother, just guess the news,' Miss Ingram exclaimed, 
as she held up an open letter. 'No, you'll never guess.' 
' Then there's no use trying.' 
' Aunt Beavoin is coming to pay us a visit.' 
' It is very kind of her.' 

* Now don't be satirical, you darling little godmother ; 
it doesn't suit you one bit. But confess you are astonished. 
You might as well. As for me, nothing can surprise me 
now ; not the news of an inundation of snakes.' 

* Flossy, you forget that your aunt Beavoin is my 
nearest relation, and it is only through her I have had the 
undisputed care of yourself.' 

* For which I owe her gratitude, so I'll not say another 
word. When did you expect my uncle ? ' 

* To-night, my dear.' 

' Ah ! it will be the first time they have met since that 
season four years ago.' 

' Yes,' and Mrs. Chirrup's sweet voice trembled. 

* To-night, to-night,' mused Miss Ingram. * Shall I 
have courage to go through with it ? I must — I will. No 
suspicion must mar my eclairci&sement, for which I have 
waited so patiently. No slur must come upon my triumph. 
All must be ready to witness, not from faith, but from 
eyesight, and unblinded by either partiality or prejudice, 
to the unblemished nobility of the future Baroness Ingram.' 

Lady Devereux arrived at Ingram that afternoon late. 


Having established her in her apartments, Miss Ingram 
proceeded to seek her companion. 

* My uncle arrives this evening, Kate.' 
Miss L'Estrange grew pale as death. 

( Let me go,' she said, rising from her seat and speak- 
ing imploringly. ' I cannot meet one to whom I once 
brought so much sorrow.' 

Bat Miss Ingram went over to her and put her arms 
round her. 

'You must not let your feelings run away with you. 
It is not like my brave Kate. If you wronged him, you 
did it innocently. It is necessary that you should meet 
him, but, my dear, it is also necessary that you should not 
betray yourself.' 

* How can I help it ? ' said the girl, shuddering. ' How 
can I face those grey hairs, those lips that never smile 
under the disgrace of my acts ? ' 

' But have I not told you that we must make amends ? 
That by our constant watchful care he may be brought to 
forget his sorrow ? Oh, Kate, it is a grand object ; it is 
worth a struggle.* 

She had touched the right chord. The girl looked up 

' Do you think I can help to do that ? ' 

' None so well.' 

'If I could think that a life's service would be even 
a partial atonement, and not an aggravation, how willingly 
would I give it.' 

Lady Devereux had completed her toilet in good time. 
She was alone in the drawing-room when Lord Ingram 
arrived, and he came to greet her before going upstairs. 
It was nearly four years since she had seen her brother-in- 


law, and then he was a broken-down, disgraced old man. 
She bore little love to the husband of her dead sister, this 
haughty woman, but she felt some compassion as she 
wondered how he would look ; and when he came to wel- 
come her, she advanced to meet him almost kindly — 
courteous she always was. 

' I am glad to see you/ he said, with mechanical polite- 
ness. ' I am afraid, you will find Ingram very dull after 
your merry east country ; but we will make it as lively 
as possible.' 

She did not answer for a moment, but remained look- 
ing at him. Yes, he was aged, worn, and weary. The 
proud head was silvered, the eagle eye was hollow, the 
scornful but beautifully chiselled mouth was pale and 

' I did not come to see Ingram Place, but to see you,' 
she said at length. 

* Thank you, Beavoin,' he replied listlessly. 

* Sit here, Ingram ; you must be tired.' 

* The Ingrams are not easily tired. I have only travelled 
a short distance to-day.' 

* Perhaps you would prefer to retire at once. Don't 
stand on ceremony ; I shall make myself quite at home, 
and Beatrice or Agatha will be down presently.' 

1 Not at all, my lady. There will be ample time for the 
duties of the toilet, without leaving you so abruptly.' 

* Pray sit down then,' she said impatiently. 

'Not while you remain standing,' he replied, with a 
persistent ceremoniousness that reminded her of three 
years ago. An increased punctiliousness was the only 
sign he gave of what he had suffered ; a scrupulous exact- 
ing of the deference due to him was all that reminded you 


of the terrible wound to his pride that time could not 
heal. Lady Devereux sat down, and he occupied a conch 

They sat talking of trivial matters, each full of another 
subject which must not be touched. She was a superbly 
handsome woman, with a gracious smile, a regal condescen- 
sion rustling in every movement. 

' What an idiot I am to ever think that if I had kept 
that wretched, hungry girl, I could by any possibility pre- 
sent her to Beavoin Devereux as her niece, the promised 
wife of her son,' he thought, as he sat and looked at her, 
and spoke polite nothings with his lips. ' It is better as it 
is. Why am I not content always to think so ? ' 

* What an effect the imposture has upon the man,' Lady 
Devereux whispered to herself. ' Has he the insolence to 
suppose that there was even a shadow of truth in it ? That 
by any possibility my sister's child could descend to the . 
level of a common thief ? ' 

Low musical voices sounded in the gallery, then a 
. pattering of footsteps, not unlike the wilful tread of chil- 
dren ; the drawing-room door was thrown open, and two 
young girls entered laughing, but stopped suddenly at 
sight of Lord Ingram and Lady Devereux. The nobleman 
turned round and half rose at sight of ladies, but sank 
back pale and breathless. 

* Introduce your friend, Miss Ingram,' said Lady Deve- 
reux, displeased at what looked like awkwardness and want 
of manners. But Beatrice did not heed her ; she was 
watching her uncle with a peculiar intentness. Lady 
Devereux turning to him noticed his death-like pallor, and 
her startled gaze following his, she saw Miss L'Esfcrange 
transfixed with a sort of horror. Lord Ingram, with a 



sndden effort, rose from his chair, and stretched out his 
hands to her. 

'Is it? ' 

* No, no, no,' she murmured, shivering at the thought 
of a detection which would render it impossible for Miss 
Ingram to befriend her. 

' He will certainly frighten the girl out of her wits, and 
cause needless esclandre,' was Lady Devereux's comment. 
' The man thinks everyone he meets is his daughter.' 

Advancing to Kate, she gently motioned her out of the 
room, whispering, ' Do not be alarmed, my dear, his lord- 
ship is not quite well ;' but Lord Ingram was too quick for 
her, and drew the frightened girl beneath the chandelier. 
As he scanned her appearance with an anxious, trembling 
gaze, not an iota of her dress, not a line of her face escaped 
him. As she looked up into the wan, haggard face, the 
fear faded out of her eyes, only a sublime compassion 
looked out from their mournful depths. The one charac- 
teristic by which he could best have recognised her was 

His hands dropped listlessly by his side, an expression 
of unutterable misery crept like a grey shadow over his 

' You are right — it is " No, no, no." My daughter was 
a poor untaught outcast, trained to vice. You are honest, 
well brought up, a lady ; goodness is in your face. How 
could I mistake you for my daughter ? ' 

He sank down in the chair, desolate, heart-broken. 
Oh, how she longed to comfort him ! how the pitying spirit 
within her craved to soothe his wounded soul, to tell him 
that she was indeed that poor waif, but that she was not 
his daughter ! 


1 Leave him now,' Lady Devereux sighed ; and the two 
girls withdrew to another room. 

* Kate,' whispered Miss Ingram, as she knelt beside her 
friend, * has it never struck you that that man — your father 
— might have deceived you ? ' 

It never struck Kate how much was involved in this 
question, and she answered it simply. 

' No, oh, no ; I am not Lord Ingram's daughter. I 
don't want to be,' she added, and large tears rolled down 
her cheeks. She wept for that poor old man, in whose 
grief and loneliness and abasement she had been an instru- 
ment, and Miss Ingram wept too — she could not tell why, 
except for sympathy. 

' Dry your eyes, Kate,' whispered Miss Ingram. * They 
are all in the drawing-room except uncle, and we had better 
go in.* 

They entered quietly. Lord Ingram had refused any 
concession to bodily weakness in the shape of dining in his 
room, and they awaited his descent. 

Mrs. Chirrup and Lady Devereux sat on a couch 
together, talking in a low tone. Mr. Blennerhasset and 
Charlie left their post on the terrace, as Miss Ingram and 
her companion ensconced themselves in a recess. 

'Why, we're all in the dumps to-night,' complained 
Charlie. * Which is it, my majestic parent, or your iceberg 
of an uncle, that's the wet blanket, Flossy ? ' 

' 1 think it must be yourself, Mr. Devereux. I feel 
damp directly you come near me.' 

' Come away, Blennerhasset ; and if we address them 

again to-night But stay ; it's not fair to punish you, 

Miss L'Estrange, for that little girl's impertinence.' 

Lady Devereux, whose calm glance had surveyed the 

VOL. II. p 


group, saw that her son had first gone to Beatrice, bat that 
after a while he was much nearer to Miss L'Estranjge's 
chair than his cousin's. Could it be that this hired com- 
panion, who might have dropped out of the sky for aught 
she knew, was seeking to wile the hope cf Devereux from 
the heiress of Ingram P It was a disturbing thought to 
that regally-robed woman, who looked so placidly proud, 
as if no external circumstance could by any possibility 
affect her. Something else disturbed her too. She remem- 
bered that the exclamation and expression of Miss 
L'Estrange had been more that of one dreading a recogni- 
tion than of a young girl suddenly startled by an unex- 
pected occurrence. What did it mean ? Did she know 
anything ? The common report, doubtless ; but anything 
beyond ? 

Unconsciously her eyes rested as if fascinated on the 
beautiful profile, and when Miss L'Estrange turned, she 
coloured under the earnestness of the scrutiny she was 
subjected to. Lady Devereux, at length roused from the 
reverie that had been suggested, she could not tell how or 
why, by something in the sweep of the eyelashes, in the 
peculiar expression of the face now turned restlessly to 
her, perceived the vivid blush, and true to the instincts 
of her nature she swept forward. Placing her hand kindly 
on the shoulder of the companion she smiled down on her, 
observing — 

' You have beautiful eyes, Miss L'Estrange — that is all.' 

She moved away, her rich velvet robe draping her like 
a princess as she was, a smile half mournful still lingering 
on her handsome haughty face. 

' Can she suspect me P ' thought the. girl. She was a 
coward, she had been one always, and she could not face 


unshrinkingly the thought of being compelled to leave this 
haven of refuge. And yet it would be impossible, she felt, 
for even her brave friend to harbour the daughter of a 
convict, an acknowledged thief, in the face of the world. 



4 Peat, Agatha, has Charlie been long so very attentive to 
Miss L'Estrange ?' Lady Devereux enquired, as she and 
Mrs. Chirrup sat on the terrace next morning. Mrs. 
Chirrup looked up from her knitting with a pleasant 

* Charlie is always my chivalrous boy — mine more than 
yours, Beavoin ; but there is no cause for alarm. Flossy has 
consented to redeem the word her uncle gave your dead 

* Is there a formal engagement ?' 

* I don't know. But you do not surely suppose there 
can be any obstacle on his part ?' 

' Not unless that girl entangles him/ 

'Let us be just, Beavoin,' and the fairy godmother 
looked up at her younger and statelier companion. ' The 
girl is no common adventuress.' 

' By-the-by, who is she ? I am getting curious on the 

'Who is she?' Mrs. Chirrup repeated. 'Well, I 
hardly know,, except that she is the companion of my 

7 2 



niece, and a sweet gentle girl, always ready to give up her 
ride or walk to read to me/ 

* Then yon know positively nothing of her antecedents ?' 

* Well, no, I suppose not. If I ever did, I have for- 
gotten. I suppose Flossy does ; bat then the girl is well- 
bred, agreeable, unselfish to a degree I never saw in any, 
young or old. What more would you have ?' 

' So that for anything you know to the contrary, this 
Miss L'Estrange might be the very offscouring of the 
city ? ' 

* Excuse me, Beavoin, I never said that.' 
' You say you know nothing ' 

4 Of her family. Nothing. But I have not had her in 
the house for so long without satisfying myself as to her 
character from what, after all, is the most satisfactory — 
internal evidence.' 

Lady Devereux smiled, and stooped to kiss the sweet 
white brow that was so much smoother than her own, 
though the hair that rippled over it was silver, not chestnut 

* I understand you perfectly, Agatha/ she said, with a 

It was perfectly plain to Lady Devereux that her 
dashing handsome boy, with his mother's chestnut curls 
and hazel eyes, with his father's gay, genial, unsuspicious 
nature, was at the feet of this hired stranger, who might 
be a chandler's daughter. 

The afternoon splendour fell over mother and son as 
they stood together by the marble fountain. He held in 
his hand a telegram from head-quarters. 

* I shall have to leave immediately, mother.' 

4 1 shall not prevent you,' she said, after a struggle. 


' 1 shall not ask you to exchange, as I always said. Go 
with my consent/ 

' I shall come back a general at least, mother. Won't 
yon be proud ?' 

4 1 shall always be proud of you, Charlie, famous or 
obscure. If you were a general, I should still be more 
proud of my son than of the hero.' 

* Groing away, Charlie ?' said Flossy, in an accent of 

' Yes, almost at once, Flossy,' he said, striving to speak 

* And you are not sorry,' she said reproachfully. 

He looked at her with a gravity she had seldom seen 
this gay, dashing young soldier wear. 

' War is threatened. Our regiment has the honour of 
being the first ordered abroad. Would you tell me to act 
a cowardly part ?' 

' Ah, I understand,' she said, with a sob, as she passed 
her hand through his arm. * Well, you will — you will 
speak before you go ? ' 

They had understood each other a long time, these 
cousins, and he knew well what she meant. 

* Why should I do that, Floss ?' he whispered, leaning 
down. ' If anything happened, she would be a widow in 
heart, but without a widow's privileges. 

' You are right, Charlie, and I am wrong,' she said 
submissively. ' But this right is hard sometimes to com- 

Lady Devereux was no spy, but as she stood at the end 
of the terrace, she saw the two who stood in the glade. 
She saw the tears in the girl's eyes ; she saw the hands 
interlaced on her cousin's arm. 



'At least Agatha is right for once,' said Lady Devereux, 
as she turned away. 'If the family compact is broken, 
the disgrace will be Charlie's.' 

Two hours afterwards the chaise stood at the door ; and 
waving his cap to the group on the terrace in his merry 
boyish fashion, Charlie Devereux drove away. Fearless, 
buoyant, daring was the last expression*he showed them ; 
his merry ringing cheer was the last sound they heard. 



It might have been thought that now Charlie was gone 
Lady Devereux' s anxiety might have disappeared. Instead 
of that, her interest in Miss L'Estrange increased most 
unaccountably. Why she watched, or what she suspected, 
she would have found it hard to say; yet still she did 
watch and suspect. 

Kate knew she was watched ; knew that every look, 
every movement, was closely scanned and analysed for 
the discovery of some double meaning. She quailed before 
the haughty eyes that so piercingly questioned her, while 
the silvery, flute-like voice made some polite enquiries 
that would have been merely impertinent curiosity if made 
by anyone but Lady Devereux. She had apparently a 
right to know all she asked, and most people yielded her 
the privilege. 

' You like the country, Miss L'Estrange ?' 


( Yes ; I like the peace and stillness.' 

* Dear me. But perhaps you were brought up in the 
country ?' 


* And your parents, do they still live in town ? ' 
' Yes — that is, I believe — my father does.' 

'I knew a Mr. L'Estrange, of Kildare Street. Any 
relation ? ' 

' No — I don't know.' 

Elate had been always a coward, and she could not to 
save her life help blushing and trembling and stammer- 
ing before the direct question. 

Day by day, hour by hour, she felt detection hovering 
over her. At times it seemed as if the bat-like wings 
flapped against her face, freezing the very life within her. 
Then it would be evaded for a while, but only that it 
might come in overwhelming force at last. 

Strange to say, from the hour of Miss Ingram's re- 
ceiving her aunt's letter, her fear had worn the majestic 
shape of Beavoin Devereux, dim and intangible as report 
at first, deepening by acquaintance into startling reality. 

Yet still she stayed. An attraction that outweighed 
all fear of the grief and shame of detection kept her there ; 
a longing desire that would not be denied, a passionate 
craving to do some little thing towards comforting that 
desolate old man from whom she had fled three years ago ; 
whom she would have rendered doubly desolate by re- 
maining. She found a pleasure she could not comprehend 
in secretly watching one to whose great affliction she had 
added the bitterest drop ; in performing simple services for 
him, spite of Lady Devereux's watchful eyes ; in watching 
a pleased look, of which she could not guess the secret pain, 


come into his eyes as he recognised some act of hers, and 
thought it was what his daughter might have been, but 
never could be now, instead of the weary gaze that made 
her heart ache. 

He was a proud man, prouder in his affliction than in 
his prosperity ; and the sight of this young girl, while it 
stirred up every feeling of his nature, while it excited to 
the full every legitimate craving for the love of his child, 
hardened his heart to that poor outcast, who had wrapped 
his honours in shame three years ago. 

So it was that when physical prostration came he could 
not bring himself to talk of his sorrow to Miss L'Estrange, 
whose pleading, wistful eyes would have dropped pitying 
tears on the yet bleeding wound, and whose low sad voice 
moved him like the burden of a far off melody learnt in 
happier days, laden with golden memories. At such times 
he would picture to himself that had the baby been left 
him she might have grown up as fair, as graceful, as 
thoughtful ; but the figure he had seen three years ago he 
tried to banish from his mind. Sometimes the enquiry 
would obtrude itself, Would it have been possible for that 
poor ragged child to have gone back to the purity of the 
baby, to have attained the loveliness of this stranger? 
Ah ! no. It could never have been, so let her be for- 
gotten ; ay, though the task of forgetting should bring 
him to his grave. 

And all the time Lady Devereux watched and sus- 
pected, though her far away suspicions were no bigger 
than a man's hand. 




These was seldom a week now that did not bring Rohan 
Blennerhasset at some time or other. Why he came he 
could not tell ; bat come he did, until at last he began to 
reason the thing properly out. 

As I said before, Mr. Blennerhasset believed in no 
action whose spring could not be traced to a reason. So 
far he was right ; every action has a motive, whether we 
know it or not. But sometimes the very happiest of our 
feelings, the best of our actions, spring from a source 
either entirely hidden, or which being revealed seems in- 
adequate to our purblind vision to produce such results. 
This fact Mr. Blennerhasset would never bring himself to 
accept ; the cause must be not only worthy the effect, but 
it must be so to his ken as well. On those who received 
the goods the gods gave without question as to the how, 
the why, and the whence, he bestowed unhesitatingly the 
epithet of fools. As to whom the title of philosopher 
would be most applicable, himself or the fools, I leave an 
open question. 

Mr. Blennerhasset, therefore, was not content to keep 
on coming to Ingram Place without knowing why he did 
so, why it gave him pleasure to do so. The result startled 
him. It was not at all satisfactory to his logical mind 
that the contradiction and frivolity of a silly butterfly 
should please him, as though these were attributes he 
approved of. Something must be wrong in his usually 


correct organisation. If something was wrong, something 
must be set right. 

He was in town, in his chambers, when this thought 
came to him. Upon the table lay law books and papers 
in what might appear to the uninitiated a confused mass. 
The handsome sofa and many of the chairs were littered 
with pamphlets, folios, and notes. Through an open door 
he had a view of his clerk, who sat writing in a confusion 
worse confounded. But the famous lawyer was neither 
making notes, nor looking over his briefs, nor consulting 
references. His work was before him, his elbows on the 
table, his head on his hands, his keen, stern eye on the 
page ; but his thoughts would only receive that one idea — 
something was wrong, and had to be set right. 

Of course something was wrong, that he, a man of 
unblemished honour, of principles as rigid as his reputa- 
tion, should be ensnared in the golden hair of a silly girl, 
who not only could never comprehend the great purpose of 
his life, much less help him on with it, but who might 
actually be accused of a scheming worse than thought- 

That was what .was wrong. Now to set it right. 

The stupid, silly heart, so unworthy of his brain, the 
heart that had so betrayed him, could never become quite 
empty again. The atmosphere of life had invaded the 
vacuum, and, as he had no mental exhausting pump, he 
could only drive it forth by the presence of another body. 
To forget one whom he should never have thought o£ 
he would think of some one more suitable. He did not 
want an heiress, he was rich enough ; he did not want 
pedigree, his pride would do for his wife and himself; 
he only wanted a woman good and true, one to whom 


lie could confide his time-honoured name without a pang 
or a doubt, one who would not wean him from his work by 
petty, foolish, unworthy exactions. 

Next day he left town for Ingram Place. 

He had found the woman who in simplicity and gran- 
deur realised his high ideal, reached his lofty standard ; a 
woman whose grave young brow told of suffering, whose 
sweet, clear smile spoke though all unconsciously of a 
capacity to form and abide by great resolves. A woman 
who could sacrifice herself, her passions and feelings, to a 
great principle. 

I told you Rohan Blennerhasset was a sensible man 
who reasoned out his conclusions. His reasoning just now 
ran thus: 

' I have found a young girl, good and beautiful, who is 
likely to make me a better wife than anyone I have met, or 
am likely to meet with. I should be very foolish to lose 
her without an effort — therefore I shall make the effort. 
She is worthy my love — therefore I shall love her.' 

It was the evening after coming to this decision, that 
Mr. Blennerhasset stood in the drawing-room at Ingram. 
Miss Ingram was the first down, and she stood looking 
(idly, it seemed, yet she was never busier) out into the 
chilly autumn night. The brilliant light of the drawing- 
room threw a sort of pitying glare on the heap of dead 
leaves heaving restlessly, discontentedly about on the 
marble terrace. Mr. Blennerhasset stood leaning on one 
end of the mantelpiece, doubtless bent on some abstruse 
study, though his outer eye appeared to rest on the white 
skirt visible in the recess, that scarcely moved even when 
now and then the lady addressed some trite remark to her 
guest, to be answered by a monosyllable. 


Yes, he must surely have been engaged in some abstruse 
study that blinded him to outward objects, and caused 
him to forget where he was, for he suddenly spoke, 
gravely and seriously, as he would never in his sober 
senses have spoken to that butterfly of fashion, who, if not 
that, was something worse. 

' She has certainly seen suffering ; she has principle of 
a high order, that, though not born of, is only perfected 
through storm and tempest.' 

Out into the autumn night Miss Ingram looked ; far, 
far beyond the dead leaves, the thinly clad branches ; away 
across the sea to that German village, where Charlie 
Devereux, perhaps even now, at the head of a war patrol, 
looked up at the silent stars, and counted the hours 
until he should look up at those mighty messengers, but 
not alone, when he would tell to a kindred spirit the rare 
tidings they brought him. Oh, and she looked far beyond 
that into a dim future, where she could see no stars, 
where neither she nor that true, trusting heart that so 
patiently bided its time could see any stars in the murky, 
lowering clouds ; into a vast desolate waste, whose scant 
trees bore the livery of a perpetual autumn that would 
not, could not, hide its dead leaves in the merciful 
shroud of winter, but must bear its desolation of decay, its 
perished hopes, its dead leaves, for ever on its bosom. 
She looked at all this, and then she turned deliberately 
round and spoke. Though her face was not visible, he 
knew it was towards him. 

* You have judged rightly this time, Mr. Blennerhasset. 

*Miss L'Estrange has # suffered, and has come out of it 

untainted. You, who know her only from her outward 

actions, confess her high principle always evident, but I 


who know her whole history, who can read every motive, 
point to every hidden spring, I tell yon that it is im- 
possible for yon, who have not that knowledge, ever to do 
her justice. She is of good family and may not be always 
poor, yet so incapable is she of anything paltry or base, 
that if destitute of these advantages she would still be a 
perfect noble woman.' 

He had forgotten who was his auditor, and had merely 
prolonged a conversation he had held with Mrs. Chirrup 
before the dressing bell sounded, until she answered. 
When she began he was puzzled at himself for having 
spoken, when she finished he was puzzled still more. 

Alas, alas, what was all this? Was it that this 
woman who was incapable of love, incapable of principle, 
was capable of a true friendship ? 

Surely, in spite of this incomprehensible puzzle, his 
heart thrilled within him at such testimony from one 
who knew to the goodness of the woman whose beauty 
was only the stamp of a perfectly beautiful soul. Surely, 
surely it did, or it ought to have done, which of course 
must be the same thing. 

Miss L'Estrange came in, looking wondrously gentle 
and high bred She smiled gratefully at Mr. Blenner- 
hasset, who had been so kind to her, and went over to 
Miss Ingram. Beatrice suffered her to put her arms 
caressingly around her, but oh, the rebellious heart that 
beat beneath the touch, the rebellious eyes that looked into 
the timid, wistful face that had such a spell to darken 
her life. She released herself with an involuntary 

* Something troubles you,' Miss L'Estrange whispered. 


' No, my dear, I was only thinking how it is that so 
much is given to one, and so little to another.' 

( Ask Mr. Blennerh asset.' 

'Shall I tell you what he would say? That it was 
all a matter of deserving. "Well, sometimes I subscribe 
to that doctrine, but at other times I rebel. And this 
rebelling is hard work.' 

' Why do it, then ? ' Miss L'Estrange enquired 

' You can no more help it than you can help breathing, 
if it's your nature. You are submissive, but don't be too 
hard on those who are so foolish as to tear themselves with 
chains that are tighter then yours.' 

Mrs. Chirrup and Lord Ingram were already in the 
drawing-room. Mr. Blennerhasset offered his arm to Mrs. 
Chirrup as dinner was announced, Lord Ingram gave his 
to Lady Devereux, Miss L'Estrange went with Harry 
Lister, and Miss Ingram followed, alone. 

' Oh, if Charlie would only come back even now,' she 
said passionately, 'it would not be too late. Surely, if 
it is possible, he will do something after my letter.' 

Before the first course had been removed, a servant 
slipped a foreign paper into her hand. Pushing her plate 
from her without a word she tore it open. She had 
bribed the postman to bring her the papers the instant they 
arrived, whether it was the time or not. 

' Kate, Kate, war has broken out ! ' 

They all looked at her. Even in that moment of 
sudden dismay it seemed strange that she should have 
addressed herself to Kate. Mrs. Chirrup stretched out her 
hand for the paper, and Lady Devereux rose from her 


* Not seriously ; my boy is not dying ? ' 

' It doesn't say,' and Flossy looked at her with a dull, 
mechanical stare ; * but don't you see, whether he lives or 
dies his hopes are ruined ? ' She did not finish what she 
knew, that the coast was clear for Rohan Blennerhasset. 
Mr. Blennerhasset, clever man as he was, mistook her 
meaning, and in spite of all his good resolutions, he looked 
pityingly at the pale face. 

' It may not be so bad as that, Miss Ingram ; in fact, I 
feel convinced it is nothing serious. Don't you know our 
friend Charlie had always a trick of falling on his feet ? ' 

She scarcely comprehended his words, but she knew 
that for once there was kindness in the proud eyes. She 
wondered dreamily whether, if anything very dreadful 
happened to her, he would be even a little sorry. 

' You see you are unnecessarily frightened,' he added, 
glancing over the paper. * It is only a trifling engagement 
that has taken place, and there is hope that in a few- 
months things may be settled peaceably.' 

' Still it is a dreadful thing that there should be any 
fighting,' Miss L'Estrange said, in the low, plaintive tone 
peculiar to her. ' I am sorry for all the poor people ; 
especially sorry for Mr. Devereux.' 

' I'm not,' Miss Ingram exclaimed, with savage energy. 
* I envy him.' 

' What a fool I was to be taken in by the manoeuvres 

of such an accomplished coquette,' muttered the lawyer, as 

the passionate exclamation rang in his ears — ' I envy 


A few months ! Gracious Heaven, s in a few months 

it might be as well for him to stay for ever as to come. 

And all the while Lady Devereux comforted herself with 


the conviction that in a few months it was quite possible 
Miss L'Estrange, who she admitted wonld be a . very 
charming wife for anyone bat her son, might be married. 



Fob two months Mr. Blennerhasset was a pretty regular 
frequenter of Ingram Place, and Miss L'Estrange began to 
feel that something new had come into her life, something 
that had never been in it before, but that could never 
again go quite out of it, something that gave her an 
unutterable sense of peace and security. 

It is not strange that, brought up as she had been, she 
should be slow to recognise or comprehend what this 
something was. Jenny Joy had loved her, and would 
always love her, partly because they had been companions 
in misfortune, had struggled through and out of it 
together ; but chiefly because her grand, generous nature 
•impelled her to love. Kate no more questioned her bound- 
less affection than does the child the mother's. Miss 
Ingram had come to her in her beauty and grandeur as an 
angel might stoop to a poor sinner. It was Miss Ingram's 
noble heart had induced her to feel such pity, not anything 
in her she considered. It therefore never struck her that 
a man whose name was a household word in a nation 
could single her out for attention ; that one to whom she 
looked up with awe and wonder should even bestow a 

WHY? 81 

thought on his humble worshipper. Still she was very 
happy. The fear of her life faded out in the golden haze, 
and she only saw the objects at hand, exaggerated out of 
all reality. 

Standing by the open window of the library one July 
day, with the breath of the flowers, with the last faint 
love-song of the birds wafted on the evening breeze, came 
the knowledge of what that happiness was. She loved a 
good man. 

She did not know if he would ever love her, if she 
would ever be anything to him but a stranger ; her heart 
was thrilled with the simple sensation of loving. It might 
be more correct to say gratitude, but she did not realise 
then, not till long afterwards, that it was the persistent 
kindness and marked politeness evinced by Mr. Blenner- 
hasset that had awakened this feeling. No wonder that 
with this beautiful secret — for it seemed to her a very 
beautiful thing to worship one so much better, nobler 
than herself — she should grow very lovely. No wonder 
that she should prize the sense of peace and rest, so new 
to her troubled lot, and grudge the thought of losing it. 

And all this time Lady Devereux was watching her ; 
why, or for what, she could not tell. 

' She reads me through and through,' Kate said to 
Jenny. 'I shall die if she finds me out. I could not 
survive the disgrace of it in that house' 

The little dressmaker for the theatre put down the 
clown's vest she was bespangling, and stretched out her 
hands to the girl who in the Thieves' Latin had always 
come to her for comfort, who came to her still. 

* Why risk it, acushla ? Come to me, Kate. You 



know you're as welcome as the sunlight, now and always. 
Come to me.' 

c I can't. I wish T& never gone there.' 

' Why can't you come, dear ? ' 

' I don't know. Something seems to draw me on, just 
as something drew me there.' 

4 Who do you see there ? ' 

' Lord Ingram.' 

'I don't mean the house people. Now that Mr. 
Devereux is away, have they no visitors to make the place 
lively ? ' 

'Very few, except Mr. Blennerhasset. I needn't tell 
you who he is.' 

'Well, to be sure, his name is on every street boy's 
tongue. There's few doesn't know he's the cleverest 
lawyer in Ireland, the wittiest of all the followers of the 
great Dan, and as firm a friend to a repeal of the Union as 
he was once its bitter enemy. Still that's very little. 
You, who see him nearly every day, could tell me much.' 

( I don't know that I could,' Kate said, playing with 
the spangles in which the Dublin Grimaldi was to astonish 
the natives. 'Although I have known him so long, I 
hardly know much more than you do— that he is a king 
among his fellow-men, a demigod whose mighty intellect, 
towering supreme above all others, proclaims his divinity. 
Ah ! if it were you who lived at Ingram, what true por- 
traits, what racy sketches, you would bring me ; but, you 
see, I am no good.' 

The Theatre Royal's dressmaker pushed aside the gaudy 
garments, and planted her two thin elbows on the table, 
supporting her sharp, pinched chin with her tiny hands, 
and looked fixedly at her friend, whom she regarded as a 

WHY? 83 

daughter, and who was exactly two years younger than 

' He is so very clever, then ? As clever as they say 
at Donovan's grocery of a Saturday night ?' 

* How can those people understand him ? His clever- 
ness is above them. They cannot exaggerate it.' 

' And yon like him ?' 

' How can I help liking one so much better than my- 
self ? Oh, Jenny, he is so grand in his truth, his justice, 
that he frightens me sometimes.' 

' Then don't have anything to say to him,' was Jenny's 
sharp rejoinder. 

Kate started, but Jenny turned to other topics. When 
she was again alone, she took up her work and stitched 
with a will. Her face was very pale ; a choking sensation 
came in her throat till she stopped and gasped for breath, 
and went on again with her work. The gasps became 
more frequent ; more oppressive grew the hurting at her 
chest, till, with a long-drawn groan, she dropped her work, 
and clasped her hands as though physical pain might prove 
an outlet for this feeling that threatened to suffocate her. 

The July sunlight streamed in at her window — poured 
in in golden showers, though every other house in the 
street was wrapped in the evening shadows. But- she 
could not see it ; her eyes were darkened. She could not 
be glad and thankful to-day for the twittering of that little 
bird that beat its wings against the bars in a mad desire to 
nestle on her shoulder. Deaf and blind to all but her 
misery, she only heard the echo of the knell that had buried 
her long ago in utter loneliness— that shut her out from all 
companionship with her kind. 

' Oh, mother, mother, why was I made different to 

q 2 

w m v ■' - » — .. r» ^ „, — ■ w^ - j^ ,— .. -w ..., ,,.j" ji.' ^eawgwii 


everybody else ? Why have I the face and form of a 
witch, and the sonl and heart of a woman ? Why have I 
thought of a destiny that comes to every woman, bnt can 
never come to me ? Kate suffered in her childhood, so did 
I; bnt she will love, and be loved, while I mnst go on 
growing more lonely every day. Oh, mother, if this is to 
be my lot, why does my heart cry out for something 
better ? Ah ! why didn't I die when I had yon to weep 
for me ? Why, why mnst I go on living, when living is 
only suffering and rebelling, and suffering more ?' 

She took up her work with a will that could be cruel 
to herself; but with every stitch came that everlasting 
* Why ? ' that was never answered, that repeated itself over 
and over, now passionately, fiercely, like the presumptuous 
questioning of a Lucifer, now plaintively, wailingly, as the 
moan of crushed life. 

Who shall answer that * Why ? ' Who shall say why 
human beings should be gifted with grand impulses, only 
to have them checked ; with great hearts, only to feel their 
emptiness, to be chilled by the vastness of their lonely 
chambers? Why should such passionate cravings for 
affection and fellowship be bestowed on those who, by 
some peculiarity of lot, are set apart ? Is it some sublime 
ironv of Nature on those who would dive into her secrets ? 

Heaven help those so set apart ! If there are compen- 
sations in nearly every case, think you they are as satisfy- 
ing to the poor weak human heart as that which they are 
instead of? Does the thought of being a little quicker 
in some particular study, a little further advanced in a 
favourite science, atone for the ostracism which is not for 
years, but for a life, which means banishment for aye from 
the loves and joys of your fellows, which is only removed 

WHY ? 85 

when death has released the exile, and given him a citizen- 
ship from which none can thrust him out ? 

There are those who feel it no wrong to be set apart, 
souls that look upon the elevation attained as a glorious 
compensation for the long struggle, the life solitariness ; 
but they are veterans wearied with the heat of the strife, 
worn out with the contest with their ostracisers to receive 
them back into their midst, content to live out their short 
evening on the calm, silent hills, away from the turmoil 
and bustle of the city, almost forgetting how once their 
hopes were centred there, how once they pleaded at the 
gates for admittance. Or they are young ardent spirits, 
so proud in their glorious self-sufficiency, so confident in 
the strength they feel within them, that they are able to 
fling back scorn for wrong, but whose hour of weakness is 
yet to come, when the craving for sympathy and fellowship 
will not be stifled, when the one cry of their hearts will 
be, * Oh, that I were like everybody else, that my lot were 
that of all mankind ! Oh, that I could annihilate every 
distinctive difference between myself and them, and share 
with the common herd their mediocrity and its privileges ! ' 
Jenny had no studies, no absorbing science to be to her 
father, mother, husband, and child ; she had only a grand, 
generous nature that would not suffer her to shut herself 
up within herself, a great, tender heart for others' woes, a 
wonderful pity for all poor, sick, and afflicted. In her girl- 
hood this had sufficed her. In the proud loneliness to 
which her companions had tacitly condemned the witch of 
the Latin, she had seen only the acknowledgment of her 
superiority, and gloried in it. But now, as the years went 
by, . as she realised to what other women were born, the 
passionate spirit rebelled against the isolation that was 



the result of her singularity, physical and mental ; and her 
one cry was, ' Why was I made different ?' 

This hour will pass. The time will come when either 
the grand, generous heart will again suffice her, when the 
joys of others will occupy the place of personal happiness; 
or the soul will lie stranded, a hopeless wreck, moaning to 
the winds and waves of fate a weary, purposeless lament. 



Miss Ingram's dressing-room was ber pet sanctum. It 
was there she shut herself up when she desired to be free 
from the loving eyes of her darling little godmother, or 
the prying orbs of Cerise. For there were times when to 
the disturbed mind of this gay young girl even the indif- 
ferent glance of her haughty uncle seemed to read her 

It was a large airy room, with a deep bay window at 
the south end that looked on to the lawn. Rich couches 
and luxurious ottomans were scattered about over a carpet 
of dark green strewed with clusters of trailing snowdrops. 

The door was shut now upon the prying and the loving 
eyes. No need now to wear the mask of gaiety over a 
breaking heart ; no need to smile and jest, when groans 
and sobs for a love lost, a life embittered, a future declared 
barren, bleak, and desolate, struggled in her throat ; when 


tears for the terrible loneliness of the lot she had cut out 
for herself blinded her eyes. 

Yes, cut out for herself. Had not her own hand done 
it all ? Had not her pride, like a great barrier between 
Rohan Blennerhasset and her true self, prevented him even 
the chance of guessing the truth she thought he ought to 
have divined P And who but herself had brought this girl 
with her peerless beauty, her winning, wistful eyes, where 
she could not but creep into his heart ? 

Was there no bslp for it ? 

She rose and paced the room. The tears might fall 
now, the sobs might break forth ; there was no one to see 
or hear. That at least was something, but it was not 
enough. She must do, as well as watch and weep. She 
could not and would not sit down patiently while the hap- 
piness of her life was taken from her. And yet what 
course was open to her ? 

She could dismiss one who was after all a hired com- 
panion, whose beauty shone in its full lustre only through 
her generosity. She could send her away in an hour, 
she nded never return to Ingram ; and the probability was 
that she would be lost to the circle in which Rohan 
Blennerhasset moved. Yes, she could do that. It was 
some consolation to feel, to know it. She could, but would 

* Oh, just Heaven ! ' she moaned — no child now, but a 
woman, grand in her capacity for suffering — ' I was ready 
to give her all but this. Titles, lands, position, all the 
adulation, all the gorgeous enchantment in which the 
world is so rich for me, even to the noble, handsome, 
generous lover they destined for me. All, all I was ready 



to yield up ; only this one thing did I covet for myself. 
How can I give it up ? ' 

No pacing now. With her face buried in the ottoman 
she knelt, weeping her hope away. 

' And he was so near loving me once. If I had only 
been wiser, better, of a higher nature, more worthy of him ; 
but I was frivolous, vain, shallow, present enjoyment was 
my god, and how could he suppose that beneath so frothy 
a surface lay a great heart that would give up everything, 
all its little bubbles, for the certainty of a true love ? 
And now he will love the girl who is all noble, who is 
capable of great resolutions, who is as high, as pure as 
himself, whom I have not even the merit of having raised 
into goodness, since she was all good when I found her. 
Why not, why not ? I had the first chance, and I could 
not avail myself of it ; I was weighed and found wanting. 
Why then should I struggle any longer ? ' 

She rose and crossed her arms with a species of proud 

'No, I will not wear my life out in a humiliating 
struggle for that which is denied me. I will prove, if only 
to my own heart, that I am capable of one great resolution, 
of carrying out one high resolve, that even he would 
approve. He will never know it ; but at least I shall have 
the proud • satisfaction of looking him boldly in the face 
while I tell myself, though I cannot tell him, that he has 
wronged me, that his judgment was harder than the 

The soft draperies of the open window swayed to and 
fro before the evening breeze. Standing out distinctly 
between the sometimes parted folds, seen cloudily, dreamily 
through their lacy texture, two figures came between her 


and Heaven. On a rising ground, face to face with the 
setting sun, their long black shadows thrown behind them, 
they stood arm in arm. No one was near them save the 
giant pines ; in solitary relief their figures were portrayed 
against the sky between that silent watcher and Heaven. 
Thus they stood, as only lovers and betrothed lovers might 
stand, happy without fear of rebuke. 

She had known it must be so, and yet now when she 
looked it seemed all so new and strange. Once Rohan 
Blennerhasset had stood thus with her, words trembling on 
his lips that she knew why were never spoken. That girl 
yonder would reach his standard ; he had at last found a 
wife worthy not only of his name, his honour, but of him, 
and it was well, very well. 

Yes, well, very well was it, though a cold faint sickness 
spread from her heart to her limbs, and she knelt by the 
window for support, her elbows resting on the sill, her icy 
fingers supporting her weary head, her heavy eyes looking 
out at those two figures standing between her and Heaven. 

No, not between her and Heaven ; only between her 
and a very little part of it. She raised her eyes from the 
brow of that western hill, raised them to the vast expanse 
of blue sky over which the grey twilight was creeping. 
All that illimitable firmament was left to her, but it was, 
oh, so dark, so chill. The glory of the setting sun was 
gone ; it had departed behind that western hill. She 
looked up into the grey canopy that had lost its clear blue 
tint, and she knew that no mortal was great enough to 
stand between her and it. 

The figures sauntered slowly away, and nothing now 
was between her and Heaven ; it was all left her now, but 
oh, how dark ! 


Darker, mistier, grew the twilight as the girl knelt 
there, shrouded in the fleecy drapery, unconscious of the 
cold night air. Darker, colder, greyer grew that Heaven 
that was left to her. * 

A wordless thonght that was half a prayer, half a re- 
bellion, went up against her destiny. 

' Is this to be my life — cold, grey, dark duty, unbroken 
by a ray of gladness ? ' 

Out from the misty twilight came a shimmering, 
beautiful thing. Deeper, denser grew the darkness ; 
clearer, purer, larger, brighter burned the evening star. 
Beaming into that cold desolate heart in its divine beauty, 
it came with its message of peace and hope,. its wondrous 
story of light in darkness. Glittering with marvellous 
splendour as all around grew invisible, it seemed to have 
absorbed all the beauty of the night into its brilliancy, to 
shower it down on that darkened spirit. The passionate 
tears fell like rain, and warmed her back to life. 

* Courage, courage, poor heart,' she whispered; 'your 
lot may be dreary, but an all- wise Deity will enthrone on 
its horizon some stars of hope.' 

What though the glories of your day be departed, your 
sun sunk in oblivion? When the darkness comes, the 
stars will shine out. When the world is still, and Nature 
at rest, you will join in truer unison in the great chorus, of 
the universe, ' God over all.' 




It came at length. The. suspicions of Lady Devereux took 
shape and form, and Kate knew that it was so. Careful 
as she was to guard her secret, Miss Ingram never sus- 
pected this. She forgot how closely her interests were 
interwoven with those of her stately aunt, and would as 
soon have connected her with state intrigues as with any 
domestic plotting. 

Strangely mingled with the thought of the rest and 
security she would have as Rohan Blennerh&sset's wife, 
there came to Kate a curious sense of unreality, through 
whose mist loomed the majestic shape of Charlie Devereux's 
mother. Never, had the promise she had given to this 
man, on whose strength she leaned with implicit confi- 
dence, seemed so dim, so far away, as now, when Lady 
Devereux's waiting woman stood at her door. 

' Miss L'Estrange, my lady asks if you'll be good enough 
to step into her dressing-room. She won't keep you a 
minute, miss.' . . 

The household had retired, Miss L'Estrange and Miss 
Ingram having just said good night. Kate rose mechani- 
cally and followed the woman. What did Lady Devereux 
want with her to-night ? Was it to tell her that she, the 
daughter of a thief, she, a thief herself, had no place in 
that household, no name by which she could be called that 
would not sully the speaker's lips, that she must wander 
forth again, homeless, nameless, through the wide, wide 


world, that is such a cruel world to those who do not know 
how to trample upon it, to bring forth its sweetness and 
render its stinging sneers, its virulent animosities, its 
biting sarcasms, harmless as their great prototype, the 
nettle ? 

Lady Devereux' s dressing-room was a spacious, luxu- 
rious apartment. The fauteuils and couches were of 
crimson and gold, the carpet of velvet pile. Standing 
alone in white splendour was the dressing-table, with its 
tall mirror and dazzling profusion of ornaments doubled 
in the pier glass opposite. 

Lady Devereux sat on a low sofa, drawn near the 
dressing-table. Her superb dress of violet velvet suited 
her well, and she looked magnificently, royally handsome, 
as she rose to receive Miss L'Estrange. 

4 You will pardon me I trust for trespassing on your 
time, Miss L'Estrange,' she said, with the graciousness 
which was inseparable from her, and which could not 
therefore be reserved for the exclusive use of those of her 
own rank, * especially when I tell you that it is in the hope 
of resolving a doubt that has troubled me.' 

Kate answered her faintly that she was at her service, 
and sat down on the low chair indicated, where, without 
rude staring, Lady Devereux could detect every expression 
on her face by simply looking in either mirror. 

c Poor child ! ' she murmured to herself, * she has suf- 
fered, I see that, and I must pain her more perhaps. I 
cannot help it ; Beatrice is my sister's child, she will be my 
son's wife. She must be guarded from imposition, at 
whatever risk.' 

' You were doubtless a little startled the night Lord 
Ingram arrived here. I mean to have apologised to you 


before this. Still bis sad story is excuse enough. Perhaps 
you have heard it ? ' 

Kate didn't know, she might have, but it didn't matter. 
The cruel suspicion that had fastened on Lady Devereux 
began to deepen. 

* Sho has heard the common story, I see that ; her ex- 
clamations that night betrayed her. Why does she affect 
to deny it now ? Can it be that she has formed the idea 
of taking advantage of Ingram's credulity, and trying to 
pass herself off as the wretched girl he called his daughter 
in a moment of frenzy ? Well, she shall hear the story my 

* Yes, I should like you to know the whole of the story, 
Miss L'Estrange,' and the eagle eyes looked piercingly into 
the face in the mirror. ' You know, doubtless, that Lord 
Ingram lost his little daughter. Perhaps you know too 
that a little more than three years ago a man of the lowest 
stamp declared his daughter, a girl convicted of theft, to 
be Kate Ingram.' 

Miss L'Estrange was white and rigid. She neither 
moved nor spoke, and Lady Devereux went on, not looking 
at the mirror now, but at the face before her. 

* Lord Ingram at the time gave credence to this report, 
though it overwhelmed him with shame in his own eyes, 
and degraded him in the sight of the world. You know 
that, I daresay ; it was widely enough spread at the time.' 

Miss L'Estrange bent her head, but the movement 
seemed to give her pain. 

c But perhaps you do not know what we know, Miss 
L'Estrange, that the man who made that assertion was a 
convict, and still more, an impudent impostor.' 

She waited for an answer, but what could Kate say ? 


The man so stigmatised was her father, and she could not 
say a word in his defence. The long lashes drooped over 
the colourless cheeks, her hands lay listlessly on her lap, 
and Lady Devereux went on eagerly. 

* Don't you understand ? We can prove it was an im- 
posture. You don't believe me ? ' 

Kate bent her head, but she could not speak to accuse 
her father. There were enough to condemn him. 

* Not only that, but we have partly traced the girl so 
infamously put forward. What do you think ? She was 
placed at a school to be educated for the position she was 
to claim. Ere long we shall have secured her, and that is 
all that is needed to bring her to justice.' 

' God. help her, madam, let her rest. What should you 
want with one so miserable ? I believe what you say — that 
the attempt you speak of was an imposture.' 

* Ah ! you believe that ? ' 

« 1 know it ; it was an imposture from beginning to end. 
The girl was not Lord Ingram's daughter.' 

' And you ? ' was the involuntary question, c who are 
you ? I have a right to know. Of course I do not for a 
moment suspect you of wishing to take advantage of his 
fatuitous idea that you were like his daughter, but still you 
have surrounded yourself with mystery and it preys upon 
his mind. I am in a measure the guardian of his interests, 
and I can see that he is perpetually revolving your possible 
parentage. He grows ill and weak, but if he knew exactly 
whose child you were, he could no longer indulge hurtful 

Miss L'Estrange turned towards her with inexpressibly 
mournful dignity. 

4 Be easy, madam,' she said, with the unconscious 


majesty of supreme sorrow ; ' I am not Lord Ingram's 
daughter, I am not, indeed, nor would I be if I could, since 
it would only bring him additional sorrow instead of the 
comfort I would long to bestow on one who, like myself, 
has suffered much. That is all you have a right to know ; 
beyond that it cannot matter to you who or what I am.' 

The lady's fascinated gaze lingered on the face that had 
attracted her so strangely. Miss L'Estrange rose. 

' Your ladyship has nothing further with me ? ' 

' Yes, I have. Miss L'Estrange, I have a niece who is 
very dear to me. She is the child of my favourite sister, 
she will be my son's wife. You will not blame me that I 
seek to secure her future by fully proving the fallacy of 
all claims that might injure hers. That can only be done 
by tracking the girl put forward three years ago. But 
there is still another motive that incites me to the search. 
I never had much love for Lord Ingram, he was only my 
brother-in-law for two short years, and with the death of 
my sister's child ceased all relationship between us. But 
now, in his affliction, I remember that the daughter he 
mourns was my niece. And, Miss L'Estrange, he 
mourns not so much that daughter dead as the daughter 
disgraced. Could we but restore to him the hope that his 
child died in the innocency of childhood, not only would 
he be restored to comparative happiness, for you see his 
pride is a stronger, more real thing than his imaginary 
affection for a ragged stranger, but the blot would be for 
ever removed from a noble house. Was I wrong when I 
imagined you could aid me to do this ? ' 

Keenly did those eagle eyes watch the girl's face. 
What did they see there? Only a dark grey shadow 
creeping over its beauty, chilling its brightness. Oh, it 


was hard, so hard, to be told that the happiness of 
another depended on her relinquishing that which she had 
so lately grasped, that was so inexpressibly grateful to her 
weary, weary heart. 

He whom she was required to relieve was an innocent 
sufferer, true, but was not she the same ? A hard feeling 
came into her heart as she looked into the eyes that so 
steadfastly regarded her. Plaintive, unutterably mournful, 
became the pleading look, but she could see no sign of 
relenting in the haughty face, and her own became hard 

* She will hunt me down ; she will pardon my offence 
only when I have made public reparation. No, I cannot tell 
her who I am, and ask her to keep my secret. She is mad 
to ask me, but she does not know that I am Mr. Blenner- 
hasset's promised wife. I cannot go forth of my own 
accord, and doom myself to the misery and degradation of 
my old life ; I cannot, for the sake of healing the pride of an 
aristocratic family, speak the word that must hurl me 
from the respectability so hardly won back to my original 

These thoughts passed through her mind with painful 
rapidity ; not one after another, but altogether they seemed 
to come. 

c How ? What do you require of me ? ' she asked. 

c Can you give me no information ? The truth once 
proved, the girl shall be bountifully provided for. The 
wide world will be still open to her.' 

She smiled bitterly, oh, how bitterly, at the prospect 
held out. The wide world would be open to her. Oh, yes, 
the wide, cruel, heartless world would be open to her. 
The great world of strangers would be before her, 


strangers to whom, if they became her friends after years 
of patient straggle with their suspicion, a word, a look, a 
reference might betray her secret. No, she could not face 
that world. The home she possessed in a good man's 
heart might be taken from her, bnt it required more 
moral courage than she was possessed of to give it up. 

'You deceive yourself, madam. I can give you no 
information.' # 

* None ? Even though I tell you ample reparation will 
be made for any unpleasantness the girl may suffer. Think, 
pray think. Something may occur to you.' 

4 Nothing,' Miss L'Estrange said mechanically. 

A look of intense disappointment came over the 
face of the lady, and her penetrating gaze faltered. 
What was this girl plotting? What did she intend to 

' Pardon me, then, for having troubled you unneces- 
sarily,' she said, in her haughtiest, coldest tones. ' I see 
I must prosecute my search alone.' 

Kate bent her head in a dreary, weary fashion, and as 
the lady relapsed into moody meditation, she rose. 

'Ah, you are tired, no doubt. I will detain you no 
longer. Good night, Miss L'Estrange.' 



Jenny no longer nodded to the twittering canary. She 
never raised her head from her work, but stitched as 
VOL. 11. H 



though she would work her pain away. It is a good 
specific, this fierce, hard work, this unremitting labour. It 
kills where it does not cure. She did not look up even 
when a knock drew from her a churlish c come in,' but 
the rustle of a dress aroused her. 

' Miss Ingram ! It's not yourself I thought to see.' 
There was something in the face of her visitor that 
drew her out from her miserable self. 

' Not there, bring your chair here where I can touch 


* I'll interrupt you at your work, Jenny,' Miss Ingram 
said, in a mechanical way. 

* $b, no, my dear, I like you near me.' 

Miss Ingram sat down, and rested her head on her 
hand in a weary fashion, very unusual to her. 

' There's nothing bad happened ? ' 

' No, nothing but good ; but somehow I wanted to come 
and sit with you a while. It makes me strong, Jenny, it 
makes me strong.' 

Two thin brown hands drew a white one and chafed it 
with their loving palms. Something in the childish caress 
comforted Miss Ingram. So they sat for awhile, the elf 
and the heiress. 

* When did Kate come last ? ' 

* The day before yesterday.' 

* Ah ! Then she couldn't have told you all — though 
she may some — that Mr. Blennerhasset loves her.' 

' No, she couldn't tell me that,' said Jenny sharply, 
1 because it wouldn't be true.' 

' It is true. He has proposed, and they are engaged, 
since last night.' 

'I'm sorry to hear it.' 


Miss Ingram winced. 

* Yes, I'm sorry to hear it,' and the small creature 
leant forward to put her arm round the slender neck, 
' and Fll tell you why, achora. Its not that he's a hard, 
selfish man, he is, that'll be always ferreting out this thing 
and that thing. He's not the sort of man a girl ought to 
love, but it's worse than that. I tell you he doesn't love 
her. 9 

1 You mustn't think of him like that now, Jenny.' 

* Oh, this war — this cruel war ! ' 

This had been the burden of Miss Ingram's plaint ; now 
when spoken by other lips it was more than she could 

' Poor Charlie ! ' she said. * Poor Charlie ! what will 
he do?' 

* Why didn't he speak before he went ? ' 

'He said it would have been unjust. Besides, you 
know, Jenny, if she liked Mr. Blennerhasset she wouldn't 
have listened to Charlie.' 

1 Stuff and rubbish. If Mr. Devereux had only been in 
time, she'd never have given a thought to Mr. Blenner- 

* But remember it's too late to say anything now, Jenny. 
They are pledged — a noble* honourable man to a good, beau- 
tiful girl. No one must now put between them.' 

1 You are right, dear,' said the elf softly. 

4 And you will learn to like him for Kate's sake ? ' 

' 1 will try, my dear.' 

There was a long, long silence, then Miss Ingram rose 
to go. She saw in the loving, pitying face that her secret 
was read. 

'You see, my dear,' she said, in answer to the wistful 

h 2 



look, 'our lot has more in common than people would 

From that day there was a bond of sympathy between 
those two, apparently separated by insuperable barriers, 
and seldom a day came that did not bring Miss Ingram 
to learn how to bear her life-loneliness from the only one 
who could by right of an equally noble nature understand 
hers, whose loneliness alone equalled hers. 

The sharp frost encrusted the earth when Charlie 
Devereux returned. The autumn had buried her dead, 
the fallen leaves were out of sight, only the bare trees, like 
desolate homesteads, spread out their leafless branches as 
if praying for a still greater ruin that should leave no 
monument of the destruction wrought. Miss Ingram 
stood at the drawing-room window looking out for her 
cousin. He was not expected till six o'clock at the 
sharpest calculation, and Lady Devereux was taking her 
afternoon nap in company with Mrs. Chirrup, the two 
ladies nodding over the fire in the dressing-room, making 
believe that they were chatting. It was only three o'clock 
now, yet still Miss Ingram stood there watching, with a 
vague idea that this daring, reckless cousin would outstrip 
probabilities to hurry home to his life's disappointment. 

A horse's hoofs crunching the gravel walk, and those 
ladies who were not sleeping, only dozing and chatting, 
never heard it. Lord Ingram looked out from his study, 
and Mr. Blennerhasset left his heap of papers on the 
library table to go to the window. Both were too late ; 
the horseman had already passed Jo the other side of the 
house. Miss Ingram flung the glass door open wide. 

' Charlie ! \ 

• Flossy ! * " 


He looked so handsome, so manly, so happy, her heart 
failed her ; the smile she had called tip to greet him faded 

'They none of them expected yon till evening, btit 
something told me you would come just a little sooner than 
was possible, and I determined to have you all to mvself 
for a little.' 

The servant riding up took away the young officer's 
horse, and the cousins entered the drawing-room. 

' How are they all, Flossy ? You are prettier than ever. 
Is my mother here ? ' 

' Yes, she came to meet you here last week, She was 
up at her own place for a few months,' 

* And my fairy aunt ? ' 

* All well, Charlie.' 

« And Miss L'Estrange P ' 

She looked up at him quietly and gravely. A sudden 
chill came to the gallant heart of the young soldier as he 
bent over his cousin. 

' I would have written the news, but it only happened 
a few days ago, and you could not have got the letter.' 

c What ? ' he whispered. 

* She is engaged.' 

He did not speak ; the ruddy firelight shone on the noble 
face so strong, so brave. By-and-by he looked down and 
asked, in low hushed tones as if speaking of the dead, 

'Who to?' 

1 Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

The pale sweet face never changed, the soft sad voice 
never faltered, but he knew it all now. Both desolate, 
both deserted, companions in sorrow. He put his arm 
round his cousin, and the bright young head drooped on 


his shoulder. A feeling that she was not all alone, that 
others suffered beside herself, came to her as Charlie's 
sympathy looked out of the clear true eyes, straight from 
the boyish, generous heart that could feel a grief besides 
his own. A comforting sense of protection crept over her. 

Mr. Blennerhasset came round by the terrace to wel- 
come Charlie; he looked in at the glass door. A black 
frown was on his stern face, but surely it could not have 
been for what he saw there. He was engaged to a young 
and lovely girl, who fulfilled his idea of what a woman 
should be. What could it be to him that another woman 
leant on Charlie Devereux's arm, and bent her head on a 
friendly shoulder as though comforted by the support ? 

This picture was clear and distinct before him, even 
when the sound of voices laughing and talking apprised him 
that all the household had heard the news and were troop- 
ing into the drawing-room, and that he might enter with- 
out fear of disturbing the cousins. It blurred and blotted 
the vision of the pale, handsome, soldierly face that looked 
into his with a peculiar questioning glance. It prevented 
him taking particular note of the sudden gravity that had 
settled in the young eyes, though it haunted him somehow, 
dimly, indistinctly, like a phantom that he had himself 
evoked but could not grasp. 

They stood round him laughing and talking, Lady 
Devereux, Mrs. Chirrup, even Lord Ingram joining in the 
shower of questions. Suddenly another was added to the 
group, another voice swelled the chorus of welcome, none 
the less richly that its tones were low and sweet. 

*I am glad to see you back safe, Mr. Devereux.' 

Brave Charlie ! He never flinched as he looked into the 
sweet smiling face, as he touched the small soft hand, as 



he returned the kindly greeting, yet there was that in his 
face that partially roused Mr. Blennerhasset from the con- 
templation of the picture still present to him, that made 
Miss Ingram's heart ache, that pained Kate she could not 
tell why. 

' Oh, Charlie, poor Charlie ! ' moaned Miss Ingram to 
herself, * I suffer, but so do you ; and you too are already 
learning to be strong — learning the lesson that so many 
have to learn to save themselves from the galling pity 
of the world, from utter self-abasement — to smile even 
while the wolf is gnawing your vitals, and only draw the 
cloak tighter.' 



At the south of the park, the low fir-topped hill stretched 
lovingly down to the very beach, only a broad road separat- 
ing the verdant slope from the wet shingle. It was a 
favourite haunt of Miss Ingram's, and there she sat, 
watching the decline of the day god. Miss L' Estrange 
was with her, and at times they both glanced over the 
road that wound away to the south, and was lost to view 
beside some suddenly curving cliffs. 

The chill November wind rushed up from the sea, but 
it did not drive the watchers from their post ; it only made 
them pace at a quicker rate from end to end, now in the 
shadow of the firs, now in the cold wintry sunlight that 
gleamed at them over the broad, blustering Atlantic. 


' Kate,' said Miss Ingram, breaking a long silence, 
' do you know on what Mr. Blennerhasset has been em- 
ployed this week ? ' 

' I don't know/ Kate said. Even as she spoke hep. 
cheek grew paler, the dark circles deepened round her eyes 
with a nameless fear. 

4 1 wonder is it anything for my aunt Devereux.' 

4 Why do you fancy that, Beatrice ? ' 

* Well, I saw them talking together just before he left. 
Still, what could Aunt Beavoin want Mr. Blennerhasset to 
do for her ? ' 

Miss L'Estrange stopped in her walk, and pressed her 
hand to her side. 

4 What is the matter, Kate ? ' 

4 The pain, the pain. I knew it was coming.' 

4 What, my dear ? ' and Miss. Ingram passed her arm 
round the slender figure swaying in the wind. 

4 Lady Devereux suspects who I am.' 

4 And you think ' 

4 She has sent him to follow up the scent.' 

4 How provoking ! Spoil our plans a little, this 

4 1 must go away,' said the girl, with a strangely 
earnest expression. 4 You, who are so good to me, always 
so good, you will help me, will you not ? ' 

4 Go away ? ' and for the first time a startled look 
came into Miss Ingram's eyes. 4 What should you do that 

4 1 must. They will find me out, and if I am here to 
see it I shall die.' 

4 You will do no such thing. You will be a brave, 
good girl, as you always were. You will stay quietly 


and make no sign ; yon will promise that, if they detect 
the truth, going away will be the last thing you will 
think of until yon have come to me to set you right before 
them all. Promise me this.' 

'But ' 

' There is Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

c How do yon know ? ' Kate asked, looking ab the 
speck in the far distance. 

*Ah, my dear, I have keen sight. I am going in 
to rest for a while, but not before you promise me, 

1 1 do. Oh, I wish I was strong like you.' 

I Like me ? Ah ! ' Kate, what little strength I have 
I got from you and Jenny. It was your patient en- 
durance, her unflinching courage, that nerved me on. 
I cannot tell whab I should have been if I had not known 

She wrapped her jacket across her chest, and ran down 
the side of the hill to the park. There was something 
very unlike the despondency that had of late overtaken 
her in her firm elastic step. 

I I must see Balfe at once/ she murmured to herself. 
' If they do find it out it is not my fault, and I shall tell 
him so.' 

Mr. Blennerhasset was near enough to the hill now, 
and as he perceived Miss L'Estrange he pulled in his 
horse to wait for her. She came down the slope to meet 
him, not bounding over rocks, or flying recklessly through 
bushes, with torn skirts and tangled hair floating in the 
wind, as would Miss Ingram to a dead certainty, but 
soberly and quietly, with an unconsciously stately grace 
peculiar to her, as was befitting Rohan Blennerhasset's 
wife to do, 


' I have been away a long time,' he said, as he dis- 
mounted and walked by her side. 

* Yes, it has seemed a long week,' she answered, with 
perfect truth. * Have you been successful ? ' 

The question did not strike him as strange. Lady 
Dever.eux had doubtless mentioned the matter. He could 
not suspect his companion of seeking to gain information 
surreptitiously. Was it not for her integrity above all 
things, her blameless demeanour, that he had chosen her as 
the most fitting person to bear his name and rule his house- 
hold ? What was her beauty to him ? What were her 
sweet low-toned words ? He had neither eyes nor ears for 
the one or the other. He knew that in spite of the mighty 
victory his reason had gained over the traitorous heart 
that would have betrayed him to be the sport of a butter- 
fly, a victory that the days as they rolled by must surely 
go to perfect, he should never have eyes or ears for another 
woman's beauty or melody. He never deceived himself so 
far as to imagine that the purely outlined patrician face 
beside him was beautiful to him, but he did not on that 
account scruple to make it his own. It never occurred to 
him to deceive her any more than himself, yet he did not 
the less do so, for as it did not occur to him to say bluntly, 
* I do not love you, but it suits me to marry you ; my 
reason approves of it,' he very naturally allowed her to 
suppose — even while expatiating to himself on the value of 
a union founded solely on reason, — that he did care for 
her very much indeed, and merited not only her warmest 
gratitude, but the strong, deep love of her woman's heart 
in return. And this was the man who was inflexibly just, 
merciless to deceit above all things. 

' Much more so than I have any wish to be,' he said 


* How do you mean ? ' 

c I do not wish to have secrets about nothing — but in 
business ' 

'You may tell me,' she said desperately. 'Lady 
Devereux would not have mentioned it to me if she had 
wished to keep it secret.' 

'Oh, of course not. I have traced the girl as far as 
the April of last year. The rest I should have discovered, 
had not Lady Devereux telegraphed for me.' 

' Why did she do that ? ' 

1 1 suppose she is impatient.' 

c Don't you think that she is very cruel ? ' and Kate 
spoke in a hard set voice. * This lady so rich, so happy, 
with all the pride of life gathered about her, why can 
she not let this poor wretched girl rest in the obscurity 
she has been permitted by a Heaven more merciful than its 
creatures to enwrap herself, her sorrows, her cruel 
memories in ? Why must she, the heiress of the world's 
grandest heritage, a spotless name, seek to drag forth 
to punishment, to public disgrace, one who in sinning also 
suffered ? ' 

* You speak like a woman,' he said, and a lofty smile, 
evincing his supreme contempt for the sex, grew softer 
as he added, 4 and like a good, gentle one. But justice is 
not to be tampered with ; those who sin must suffer.' 

* Yes, yes, those who sin must suffer ; it is inevitable. 
It is impossible that it should be otherwise. But may it 
not be sometimes that the punishment exceeds the offence ? 
Does it not sometimes happen that our fellow-creatures 
make our burdens heavier than they need be ? Would you 
be the one to crush down the staggeriDg wayfarer ? ' 

' You take too morbid a view of the matter. I must 



confess I had not suspected you of so much imaginativeness. 
But you forget that those who are burdened in general 
bring it on themselves, and you could not expect honest 
men to take up the cross of the thief, self-sacrificing, self- 
denying people to don the rags of the prodigal spendthrift; 
that the latter may revel in purple and fine linen.' 

'No, no,' she said recklessly, 'but they might spare 
them a little pity.' 

'I don't know. I don't know what good that does, 
except to create a mawkish sentimentalism, a habit of 
elevating all who lay claim to the honour by an extra 
amount of folly or crime into heroes of misfortune, and of 
according the coldest indifference to those commonplace 
individuals who strive to be well-doers. No, I don't think 
Lady Devereux cruel, but I think her very foolish.' 


' Well — she has a niece. What is the good of raking 
up old stories unless one has a thorough chance of dis- 
proving them ? Lady Devereux imagines that if she can 
only lay her hand on the girl she will be able to prove the 
whole tiling false. But if instead of that she should merely 
bring to light that it was her own niece who three years 
ago stood in a dock to answer guilty to a charge of theft — 
or she might discover worse than that — I really believe 
that Lord Ingram would never survive the double disgrace, 
while Miss Ingram, who, of course, is immeasurably dearer 
to her aunt than that poor little outcast, would be disin- 
herited after ' 

'But you speak of impossibilities,' Elate said, still 
speaking in a metallic, monotonous tone. ' Lord Ingram 
could not be subjected to such disgrace ; the girl was not 
his daughter.' 


' 1 would give a thousand pounds out of my Land to be 
sure of that.' 

Her face grew a deadlier white ; her head sank lower. 

' And if I know anything of human nature, Lord Ingram 
would give twenty. It would be a terrible thing for him, 
the restoration of such a daughter.' 

* Why do you not ask Lady Devereux to desist ? ' 

* How could I interfere between Justice and her ends ?' 
and he crossed his arms with a stern gloom she remembered 
long afterwards. ' If these broad lands are the heritage of 
a miserable beggar, who, though she had all these appa- 
nages of rank and wealth, could never by any possibility be 
anything but a Pariah, a living blot on an outraged society, 
to whom the truest kindness would be shown by letting 
her rest in obscurity ; and though to give it to such an one 
is to deprive a high-bred lady of what has become the very 
breath of life to her, of what she is fitted to grasp, of that 
for which she has dared so much ; yet who am I that I 
should step between that beggar and her rights ? If it is 
her right it is she, not Miss Ingram, who must have it. 
No power could take it from that girl, reared in vice, to 
give it to the tenderly-nurtured lady, and if such could 
be done, I would not raise my finger towards it. Beggar, 
thief, and all, what is hers she must have.' 

He spoke with exceeding bitterness, with a gloomy 
remorse for his own weakness that blinded him to the pale 
white face beside him, that drowned with its nearer agony 
the wail of pain that sounded in the voice floating by him, 
surging in his ears, reaching his brain but never touching 
his heart. 

' What grounds have you for thinking so positively that 
that girl was his daughter ? ' 



4 Lord Ingram has spoken to me as perhaps he spoke to 
no one else, and from what he has told me there rests no 
doubt on my mind that the story told in a court three 
years ago was true. The facts and my opinion I gave 
Lady Devereux, but I can see she passes over both. Her 
idea is that by a simple birth-mark she can confound a 
very clever imposture, while in all probability she will only 
bring to light a very bitter truth/ 

* Mr. Blennerhasset, you are very clever, you are accus- 
tomed to sift evidence; have you sifted carefully all per- 
taining to this case ? ' 

1 Oh, yes, I have separated facts from probabilities.' 

< And there remains no doubt upon your mind ? ' 

1 No doubt.' 

Miss Ingram stood at the great hall door to welcome 
them. The sun had set long ago, the short winter twilight 
was passing rapidly, the building was enwrapped in 
shadows that took shape and form in the deep recesses, 
the manifold corners, of the beautiful old pile, that were 
densest and blackest under the great portico. There was 
no sunlight to light up the dark purple robe Miss Ingram 
wore, no day-star glory to bring out the living gold of her 
tresses, the living light of her eyes. Sombre and heavy fell 
the folds of rich drapery round the fragile childish form, 
pale and anxious looked out the young face from the soft 
fair frame, round which all was gloom and mysterious 

* "Welcome back, Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

Like a flash of lightning the smile irradiated her face 
and lighted up her eyes. Even as she spoke the lamps 
were lighted in porch and hall, the warm rich light 


streamed down on hair and face and dress, the fall bright 
colour flowed ont in responsive harmony. 

"Was she, the heiress of Ingram, this fair high-bred girl, 
who moved and looked like a princess treading her own 
palace halls, welcoming to her home the guests of Ingram P 
If she was not why she ought to be, was Kate's conclusion, 
as she stepped out of cold and darkness into light and 
warmth. If she was not, where would they find one so 
fit ? Not in the person of an Sieve from the Thieves' Latin, 
surely ? 

' Come, Kate, it is time to dress. Mr. Blennerhasset, I 
leave you sans ceremonie. I hope your mission has been 
as great a success as it deserves, for I know nothing but 
business has kept you from us so long.' 

She looked wonderfully handsome as she paused at the 
foot of the staircase to look up in his face with a shadow 
of her old sauciness, but the tacit defiance did not raise his 
anger now. She had plotted and planned for nothing, 
she had sold herself for naught, and the end must soon 
come. He could not help it, perhaps he would not if he 
could, but somehow just for that once in his life a great 
pity looked out of his eyes at the girl who had struggled 
so bravely in a bad cause. She never forgot that look, 
though her only answer to it now was— 

'You must tell me all about it this evening. Please, 
will you promise ? ' 

' 1 am afraid not.' 


' You might not like to hear.' 

' I would, were it as dry as dust.' * 

' There are some things not dry as dust that one is not 
always equal to hearing.' 



* I am equal to anything — always excepting a stern look 
from my lord on'behalf of cold soup, so I spare you for the 
present. Come, Kate.' 

Her merry, reckless laugh, the peculiar meaning she 
had given to the simple words she spoke, rang in his ears 
as she ran up the stairs, half dragging her friend with her, 

* We're very late,' she whispered rapidly, ' but tell me 
quickly, has he discovered anything ? ' 

* Part, not all.' 

' They can't get over the last year ? ' 

' No.' 

'That's all right. You haven't had a quarrel, my 
dear ? ' 

' Oh, no.' 

' What's wrong, then ? ' 

'Nothing, only myself;' only me. I'm all wrong, all 
wrong from beginning to end, whichever way you take me.' 



The fire burnt fitfully on the figure of Miss Ingram's com- 
panion as she crouched on the hearthrug. Her door was 
locked. There was no light in the apartment, save the 
flicker of the coal, to witness the old shadow of her child- 
hood stealing over the youth that had so lately come to her. 
Only remember how sad, how very sad, her life had 
been, and you will understand how precious this refuge 
had become; what a staff of strength to lean upon the 


strength of a friend so true, so brave as Miss Ingram had 
been. You will comprehend that from this sheltered 
haven the darkness outside looked blacker, the cruel winds 
sounded more pitiless. Yet out into the black darkness, 
into the pitiless tempest, she must wander again. 

Over and over rang in her ears, * He will never survive 
the disgrace.' Could she remain to bring deadlier shame 
on that poor old man to whom the loving heart within her 
turned ? She must go, not because she feared that she 
would be branded as an impostor, but because she began 
to have a terrible dread that she might indeed be Lord 
Ingram's daughter. 

It was a horrible thought that all the sin and sorrow 
of her life must be shared by that grey-haired man whom 
she would have died to comfort ; that there would be no 
escape for him from the disgrace of his daughter. 

And Miss Ingram, she to whom all the peace and com- 
fort of the last three years was owing, she would be disin- 
herited, thrust out from her place by one who could never 
fill it, to whom the title of Baroness Ingram would be 
but the crowning baseness of her life. 

How good, oh, how good she had always been, this 
young girl who had come to the ragged, unkempt outcast 
in the Dublin jail like an angel of mercy, who had never 
from that hour wearied in her labour, never faltered in the 
grand scheme she had laid out for herself. 

Clearly enough the girl saw now what that scheme was, 
and a faint, mournful smile crossed her face as she 
thought how she would defeat it. What though that 
noble heart had planned and nearly executed a resolve by 
which the outcast should be fitted for her station, made 
capable of winning a father's pride ; should it be permitted 

vol. n. i ^0" 


cs lie finished when 3b aim mi uITrfi menu woold mean tie 
aacrmfle of che planner? 3Fol no. She had 

Iwilil a. poor coward all her life, nun she would save these- 
cwo people ftrmi herseifl 

Ami flUW afomrC TLih«n Tflipgrnw^taaB^itr ^ 

JJl! tie poor weak hearc: fatted near here. She clasped 
her Bands cogssner aver her lap as she crouched an. tie 
rug and looked men cne inekernig 5rc and pictured her- 
aeif loneiy. ■ipsniam wick no chance of ever again winning 
a good man's love. The clock straek one, and sriTT she sac 
cftere. heipfaffL weak. 

Two a'doek and s&IL she crnnched there. She had 
always been, a coward, a poor zmserahle coward,, and she 
could nix sice bravely che desolation hefiire- her. 

Again and aeam. rang in her ears. "He will never 
survive die disgsace/ like a nash. came the reenlTeeiaan 
of R^ftm BlemerhafiHer s lace as he msered tare words, che 
rf<^w t . mercxleas hrow^ che nnsafcened ^rnrnh. He. too. was 
a nraud man. proud *t£ his nin^f!i.u his spotless fane as 
Lord Tnii' .mi of his iame. ay r and wish, as rampant; a 
prfrie. Whac woold ic beta hrnrir aTni.nTi of (fishonanr 
couched his wi&? 

The isftrtHtftii; nad she came aa her he&re. She had 
HMflHfwi herself oo bask in his ctttnliffHTgniTTTTg kindness, to 
worship him. wick che fr™**™- of an incenaely grasefhl 
nacare, never imagining thac she erazu£ wrong hfm thereby. 
Ban she saw re all now ; she saar thac 5nr his saksy coov she 
nmac hide in ^owe far-on? eacBK. 

He would regrec her a mtife prrfmnii . he would chink 
kindly. pfnfftifTy of her ; «"^^ — jwrejifrrg' in che world,, not 
aE che deep waters chac nnghc rati aver her scaly ecnld 


deprive her of the memory of that time when he had 
loved her. 

Her resolution was taken. Mr. Blennerhasset was to 
leave Ingram next day. She would see him for the last 
time ; she would have another look at that poor old man, 
whose mournful pride broke her heart. Utterly exhausted, 
she crept into bed, wondering drearily when she might be 
able to do so again. 



' Uncle, for three years I have obeyed you. I have never 
spoken to you of my cousin.' 

' Your cousin ! ' repeated Lord Ingram, stupefied, lean- 
ing over his table to look into the face of his niece, who 
sat on a low ottoman very near him, so near that she could 
touch his hand by stretching out her own. 

'Yes, uncle, my cousin. I cannot suppose you have 
not thought of her all that time. It is not your heart 
that is so hard ; it is only your pride.' 

' Why should I think of her ? ' he asked tremulously. 

' Because your heart is craving for a daughter's love, 
and will not be satisfied without. Because, whatever she 
may have been, she is still your daughter. She has a 
claim upon you that no resolve of yours can do away 
with, and you cannot reconcile yourself to abandon her 
any longer to the poverty of a heartless world.' 

i 2 


* Why do you come and tempt me ? Have I not suffered 
enough ? ' 

'And has not she suffered all this time? Oh, uncle 
Ralph, think of her thrust out.' 
' I did not thrust her out.' 

'But you let her go. See what a great noble soul 
she had, this cousin of mine. See how she shut herself 
out from you, and from all her former ties, that you 
might be spared. Why do you not seek her, that she may 
be comforted from all her sorrows, that she may comfort 

His eyes were fixed mechanically on the young girl 
opposite ; he felt his pride beginning to melt, he stretched 
out his hand to take hers. 

' You are a good girl ; a good brave girl. You are my 
daughter. I want no other.' 

She came nearer, kneeling beside him. 

' No, uncle Ralph, I am not your daughter. You can 
never love me as you loved that wee baby long ago, that 
prattling thing whose voice lingers in your ears to-day, 
but who buffets even now with the loneliness of her life.' 

He trembled, and would have pushed her back, but 
she kept her ground. He dared not think of that baby 
face pinched and wan, of that dimpled arm bare and thin, 
or his pride would melt like a snow-wreath before the 

' Have you thought of that, uncle Ralph ? Have you 
thought of that baby chatterer asking in vain for bread ? ' 

' Go away, go away. Have I not suffered enough ? ' 

' Ah ! You have struggled a long time ; but after three 
years you will surely acknowledge that a father's love is 
stronger than a man's pride ? ' 


He made no answer, except to wave his hand as if to 
motion her away. 

' He will surely relent to himself,' she thought as she 
went out. A sound as of the fall of a heavy body startled 
her. She stood still a moment, then with a terrible fear 
re-opened the door. On the ground, huddled up between 
chair and table, was Lord Ingram, senseless. 




' I want to see you to-night. Be on the lawn at the east 
end at twelve.' 

That was all, written on a scrap of newspaper skirting, 
but well, oh, very well, Miss Ingram's companion knew 
who was the writer. 

Bright as on that night when the Ingram plate basket 
had been despoiled shone the inquisitive moonlight. To 
go round the house on such a night would be to place 
herself full in view of whoever might be at the windows, 
and yet Balfe was not one to be denied. 

Lady Devereux's apartments were on the ground floor, 
her ladyship having a thorough dislike to stairs. Her bed- 
room and dressing-room both opened on to the eastern 
terrace, and the latter room was accessible from the smaller 
drawing-room. Just at the dressing-room window a great 
tree cast its dense shade, and larches thickly planted 


formed almost a line of protection from the house to a 
small grove. Once under the shelter of the little wood it 
-would be easy to escape detection. 

Everything was quiet generally at twelve, but to-night 
it was past one before Miss L'Estrange ventured to Lady 
Devereux's dressing-room. Not a sound came from the 
bedroom beyond, but through the open door streamed the 
pale light of a night lamp. She had forgotten that Lady 
Devereux was a victim to neuralgia, and frequently kept a 
light burning that she might be able to get the remedies 
when the pain became too violent. Paralysed she stood in 
the doorway between the dressing-room and drawing-room, 
her figure distinctly thrown out by the light from the room 
beyond. Standing thus she heard steps, voices on the 
terrace ; the curtains of the glass doors were drawn back, 
and she suddenly remembered that she must be visible to 
anyone outside the drawing-room. With a sudden spasm 
of fear she closed the door behind her, and not daring to 
remain in the dressing-room, ventured across to the door, 
which, unlike those of the drawing-room, was shuttered 
and barred. Opening it with trembling hands, she found 
herself face to face with Balfe. 

Yes, there on the terrace, where the moonlight might 
reveal him to any passer-by. The shock of the discovery 
took away her breath, and she stood, powerless to move or 
speak, until the fragrant perfume of cigars was wafted to 
her by the night wind. Balfe had no cigar. Nearer, 
nearer came the steps, the voices ; and with a sudden 
movement she drew her companion inside, closing the 
door, and placing her back against it. 

She held up her hand to enforce silence, pointing to 
the open door ; and so they stood in that awful stillness, 


motionless in that dim, shadowy room, until the voices and 
steps had died away. Then she opened the door noise- 
lessly and looked out. The terrace was clear, and she 
turned to beckon to Balfe. He had moved to the centre of 
the room, his footfall making no sound on the velvet carpet, 
and he stood now in front of the dressing-table. He was 
hidden from the girl's gaze by the snowy draperies ; but 
in the shadowy depths of that mirror opposite she saw 
dimly outlined the form of a roughly-coated man, stooping 
over a duplicate of that glittering table, stooping just 
where a ray of light falling sharply through the chink of 
the door seemed to have found something to attract and 
refract its rays. 

Only for a moment was that dim picture presented to 
her gaze, then he was by her side, and with rapid noiseless 
steps they crossed the terrace, stealing under the larches to 
the shelter of the pine grove. 

Even in the thick shadow of those fragrant pines, 
breathing out their grateful incense to the night, the dead 
white of the girl's face was visible to the tramp, as 
leaning against a tree she waited for him to speak. 
Something in her manner, something like restraint, struck 

' This is your welcome, is it ? Your welcome to your 
father ? ' 

She did not answer. 

' What notions have you got into your head ? Tell me 

Even yet he exercised somewhat of the old power over 
her, but there was no fear, only a great misery in her 
eyes as she looked up at him. 


* If I have notions, they don't give me much happiness. 
I wish I could lose them.' 

' I know what ye're going to tell me — that ye're his 
daughter. But do you think I'll let you ? he hissed 
fiercely. ' Ay, turn in loathing from me, show your disgust 
of the wretch who lost his child fifteen years ago ; but 
don't think that he'll have what I haven't — what I never 
can have — a daughter. Shut your lips from calling me 
father ; maybe it's only right you should hate me ; but you 
shan't call him. Yes, yes, your notions are all right ; the 
miserable story told three years ago was true, true as 
gospel. I have no daughter.' 

Intense misery was in that wail, it penetrated all sense 
of wrong, and entered into that pitying heart. 

'Poor father, I will still call you so if you wish it. 
You have sinned, but you have also suffered.' 

' Do you not hate me ? ' 

' Who am I that I should judge you ? ' 

' But I have wronged you ; I must go on wronging 
you. I can't, I won't give back to him what he took 
from me.' 

' You could not if you would. The worst wrong you 
could do me now would be to thrust upon that poor old 
man one who could only disgrace him. Don't do that. If 
you pity me, let me have the satisfaction of knowing that I 
shall trouble him no more.' 

It was long, long before he spoke again ; then he 
asked — 

' How is it that you can forgive, even pity me ? ' 

' I don't know,' she said, wearily, ' unless it is that I am 
so very miserable myself that I have no heart to be bitter 
to one equally wretched.' 


* And you are so very wretched ? ' he asked, with some- 
thing like remorse in his gloomy eyes. 

' Yes,' she said, still so wearily. ' I did not know you 
were coming, and I formed a plan. Don't thwart it.' 

' What plan ? ' 

' I am going away to-night — now.' 

' Where ? Why ? Is Miss Ingram sending you ? ' 

' Miss Ingram ? ' and even in her desolation her smile 
was beautiful as she thought of that loyal friend. * No ; 
she will be more astonished than anyone.' 

' But why are you going away ? ' 

'Because I should never have come. My presence 
here is a wrong to that poor old man, to that noble 
lady. Who am I that I should thrust her out from her 
place ? ' 

' And you are going away ? ' he said, stupefied. 

'Yes,' she said desolately, 'away from every friend I 
have. Oh, why should I be hard on you, I who know now 
what it is to stand alone in the world ? ' 

' Since when did you know that you were the lawful 
heiress of Ingram ? ' 

' Since last Friday. I waited till to-night, thinking 
Mr. Blennerhasset would be gone every day, but he de- 
layed on account of Lord Ingram's illness.' 

' Was he ill ? ' he asked eagerly. 

'Yes, yes, ill and suffering, and I could not help 
him. Oh don't, don't make me a heavier burden to 
him, promise me that ; let me go quietly, don't thwart 
my plan.' 

' I won't thwart you,' he said quietly. ' But — ah ! well 
— you're thwarting Miss Ingram, and I must do the same. 
I can't help it ; no, even looking at your white face, even 


looking into your pitying heart, I can't help it. She's a 
clever young lady, but I must balk her, or she'll be 
having it all her own way, as she said in her letter.' 
' Does she write to you ? ' 

* To be sure she does. Don't I know her scheme as 
well as you do ? And didn't she wind me round to help 
her ? And didn't she try to wind me round altogether ? ' 

* Oh ! how good she is— how noble ! ' said the girl, 
clasping her hands. 

' Yes, it was a fine scheme ; but as good as it was it 
must be defeated. You want it defeated. Isn't that it ? ' 
and the tramp bent forward to look keenly into the girl's face. 

Not weak, not vacillating now. The lines had come 
and settled themselves once more round the mouth as in 
days gone by. 

* Yes, that is it. You will help me ? ' 

' I will help you — I must ; and I will do it so that Miss 
Ingram will have no way to go to work if she were twice 
as clever, and she is a clever young lady. It was that 
brought me here to-night, and all you've to do is to go 
back the way you came. That was Lady Devereux's 
dressing-room ? ' 

' Yes.' 

4 Ah ! my information is generally correct. Mind you 
go back that way. When do you start ? ' 

4 There is a train on the Eastern line at five this morn- 

* That will] do. This flight of yours saves me a good 
deal of trouble. Before you go, tell me again you forgive 
me for still keeping you from him,' he added, speaking 
with a remorse neither himself nor his listener could com- 


1 1 do ' slie said drearily, * from my heart I do ; it is the 
only kindness you can do me now.' 

* No, not a kindness, only another cruel wrong. And 
yet, though I can't drive out the devil that bids me do it, 
I ask you not to hate me, even though you know I am not 
your father.' 

* I do not hate you, I am too sorry for you. You have 
wronged me, but you were wronged yourself; I can never 
forget that. No, I shall not hate you ; and if it is any 
comfort to you, still think of me as your daughter to re- 
place the one lost, for 1 shall never have another father.' 


mr. blennerhasset' s puzzle. miss ingram's indignation. 

Charlie's conviction. 

Lord Ingram was a little better, and Mr. Blennerhasset 
began to think of starting on his deferred journey. He knew 
that the success Lady Devereux so eagerly sought would 
have a very opposite result to what she intended, yet he 
would not turn aside. It had been confided to him to dis- 
cover the truth, and the truth he would discover. 

Mrs. Chirrup came down to breakfast, as she always 
did. The sweet rose-tinted face set in its silver framework 
was very sad. A heavier cloud than the illness of Lord 
Ingram was upon it, but she greeted Mr. Blennerhasset 
with the gentle cordiality that was part]of her nature. 

'I wonder Flossy is not down,' she said. 'Neither she 


nor Miss L'Estrange are late risers. Wilmot,' she added, 
' you had better see if the young ladies are up.' 

It was a long time before Wilmot returned ; when he 
did he looked a little scared and a good deal puzzled. 

* Miss Flossy'll be down directly, ma'am ; ' then he 
stopped, with a peculiar expression of mystery on his stolid 

1 Very well. What's the matter, Wilmot ? ' 
Mr. Blennerhasset as well as his mistress was looking 
at him now, and he stammered and fidgeted in the way 
peculiar to the raw recruits from the great unwashed. 
'I donno, ma'am ; maybe the young lady is all right.' 

* What ^oung lady ? ' 

He looked awkwardly at the great lawyer, with a sort 
of pitying glance that irritated Mr. Blennerhasset out of 
all politeness. 

* Speak, you blockhead ! ' he said, in a voice that com- 
pletely silenced Wilmot. Mrs. Chirrup rose from her seat 
as the door was flung open and Miss Ingram entered. 

'Godmother,' she said abruptly, 'did Kate sleep in 
your room last night ? ' 

4 No, my dear. What has happened ? ' 

Miss Ingram made no reply ; she only stood looking 
bewildered and troubled. 

' I suppose, Mr. Blennerhasset,' she said at length, ' you 
can give me no help ? ' 

' What is the matter, Miss Ingram ? ' 

1 Elate is not here. Did she leave no note, no message 
for you ? ' 

' No ; she may be out walking.' 

* Of course, my love. You are nervous after the excite- 
ment of your uncle's illness.' 


'Perhaps I am. Wilmot, bring me some chocolate.' 
No sooner had the man left the room than she leaned for- 
ward on the table, saying in a low voice, 

1 Her bed was not used last night, though she retired 
early. Something has happened. Make no esclandre till 
we see if we can find her.' 

Wilmot returned with the chocolate, and she made a 
pretence of breakfasting. Mr. Blennerhasset sat for a few 
minutes pondering in gloomy silence, until the sound 
of a horse's hoofs rattled on the gravelled walk, and 
Charlie Devereux came up at a swinging gallop. 

' Late as usual, Aunt Agatha/ he called out with his 
merry laugh, at the same time springing into the room. 
Miss Ingram was already beside him. 

* Charlie; I want to speak to you.' She drew him out 
on the terrace. 

' Have you seen Kate ? ' 

' She's gone, Charlie.' 

' Gone ! ' he repeated, stupefied. ' Gone from Rohan 
Blennerhasset ? ' 

' Worse than that, Charlie ; gone from all of us. But she 
cannot be far, so come inside till we arrange how to find her.' 

She had done well to let him bear the shock away from 
all eyes but her own. Himself again in a moment, he 
followed his cousin. 

It was hastily agreed that Miss Ingram in her pony 
carriage, and the two gentlemen on horseback, should try 
the three most likely directions, in the meanwhile using 
the telegraph as might seem best. 

1 But what could have taken her away ? ' Mrs. Chirrup 
said piteously. * Supposing it was an accident — those 
rivers — the beach is so treacherous.' 


* No, godmother, it was no accident.' 

* No, it was no accident, that is plain,' Mr. Blenner- 
hasset said gloomily. * Miss L'Estrange has intentionally 
quitted the house, whatever her motive may be.' 

'Whatever her motive may be,' interrupted Charlie 
Devereux, ' I'll stake my life that it was a good one.' 

' Of course it was a good one, my dear boy,' said Mrs. 
Chirrup, smiling affectionately up at her nephew. ' We 
have not had Kate with us for so long merely to suspect 
her now.' 

Mr. Blennerhasset's face grew set and hard. What 
were these people babbling about ? Had not his engage- 
ment been essentially one of reason — founded on reason — 
conducted altogether on principles of reason ? And what 
semblance of reason was there in the young lady whom he 
had selected entirely for her dignity and propriety disap- 
pearing in this outlandish fashion, without a word of ex- 
planation, exposing him to the contemptuous pity of the 
very hirelings ? Like rankling poison came the memory of 
Wilmot's compassionate look. It had galled him when he 
was ignorant of its meaning. It galled him a thousand 
times more now that the bitter knowledge had come to him. 
What motive could justify her ? 

He listened gloomily, sternly — almost protestingly — 
while the few simple directions were suggested by the 
cousins. He neither assented nor dissented, except in so far 
as to acquiesce in his own part. He offered neither blame 
nor sympathy for the absent. He sought neither pity nor 
advice from the present. Then they separated, and in a 
few minutes had started according to arrangement. 

'Yes, I must seek her — I must find her, if only for 
an explanation,' Mr. Blennerhasset said to himself, as he 


rode towards the station. ' But what explanation can 
compensate for the scandal that is now flying all over the 
country V 

It was three days before he returned to Ingram, and he 
only came then to fulfil a promise he had given to let them 
know his success. Miss Ingram was standing at one of the 
deep bay windows as he drove up. One glance at his face 
as he stepped out of the carriage that chill, wet day told 
her that his success had been no better than her own, and 
there was no enquiry, nothing but a great sorrow in the 
pale young face turned to greet him. 

' I see you have nothing to tell me.' 

' Nothing/ 

He stood by the fireplace, and she, unnerved by the 
disappointment, turned again to the wintry landscape. 
There was something in her attitude that angered him ; it 
was so grave, so dejected, so unlike Beatrice Ingram. 

* You are grieving, Miss Ingram,' he said, in measured 
tones that rang with an inflexible sternness. * There is 
no occasion for it. If your friend has gone from right 
motives, you have nothing to regret but the temporary loss 
of her society. If for faulty ones, she is not to be 

* How dare you, Mr. Blennerhasset ? How dare you 
speak of Kate like that, and to me, too ?' she exclaimed, 
turning on him, all the generous indignation of her nature 
flashing out of her eyes. ' How dare you put if to her 
name ? Is your friend only to be trusted while she is in 
your sight ? Is her absence to be the signal for every 
calumny to assail her ? What have you seen in her 
conduct all the time you have known her but everything 
that was good, and womanly, and true ? There is no if 


about her motives. She is good, therefore they must be 
good. I will believe that, though I should never see her 

There was something in the girl's earnest manner very 
different from her natural frivolity — something that made 
Mr. Blennerhasset feel very bitter to this girl, who always 
had run counter to his wisdom, who at every turn in 
some way upset his most correct calculations. She turned 
again to the wintry landscape, with a wail in her heart. 

* Oh, my poor Kate, have they known you all this time 
to suspect you now ? What is to become of my plans ?' 

So lost was she that she did not hear the rustling of 
Lady Devereux's moire robe until her voice roused her. 

* It is a strange business altogether, Mr. Blennerhasset, 
and one trouble never comes alone.' 

She paused, and with a sudden dread Miss Ingram 
turned round sharply. 

* Has anything fresh occurred ?' Mr. Blennerhasset said 

Lady Devereux hesitated for a moment, then she said, 

4 1 have lost my diamond bracelet.' 

4 Well, aunt?' 

Sharp and shrill came the interrogatory. Every fibre 
of Miss Ingram's frame was painfully, intensely alive. So 
bent was she on dragging out the secret with her eyes from 
that haughty, yet disturbed face, that she scarcely heeded 
the bespattered horseman who stood beside her. 

1 1 left it on my dressing table last Tuesday night.' 

Again came the sharp, shrill — 

' Well, aunt ? ' 

* It was not there at three in the morning, when I went 
to look for the laudanum.' 


* Why did you not miss it before, madam ?' 

It was Blennerhasset who spoke, and the haughty, 
handsome face of the lady was troubled. He winced again 
under the compassionate look, and crossing his arms on his 
bosom, he faced her with an implacable pride. 

' Go on, madam ; I desire it.' 

' Then pardon me if I pain you. I mention it partly 
because I cannot avoid doing so, partly in the hope that it 
may be explained.' 

' Go on, madam. Nothing you have to say can affect 

* Nothing you have to say can affect anyone here,' 
added Charlie Devereux, speaking for the first time. 

' Have you any news, Charlie ?' she said, glad of a 

' None. Don't let me interrupt you, ma'am. You were 
speaking of a diamond bracelet.' 

'Mr. Blennerhasset asked why you did not miss it 
before,' added Miss Ingram, whose eyes never left her 

' I thought Miss L'Estrange must have put it away.' 

'Why ?' Mr. Blennerhasset asked. 

' She was the last person in my dressing-room that 
night. The bracelet was there when she passed through ; 
it was not there at three o'clock.' 

' And you think ' 

' That Miss L'Estrange must know where it is.' 

1 You are mad, Aunt Beavoin,' broke forth Miss Ingram. 
' Kate knows no more about it than I do. You have seen 
her goodness, her gentleness, with your own eyes, and at 
the first blush you believe her guilty. You are mad to 
suspect her of theft.' 




' "Who, my dear ?' asked the sweet, clear voice of Mrs. 

' Godmother, you knew Kate ; you loved her, did you 

'I did, my dear.' 

* And it was as much for her goodness — no, but more — 
than for her beauty that you loved her.' 

' Tes, my dear.' 

* Tell me, then, was Kate the one to commit a theft ? ' 
'No. Oh, no ; surely not.' 

'I am sorry to say what so evidently grieves you, 
Beatrice,' said Lady Devereux, gravely. 'But facts are 
facts. I should not have mentioned the matter had I 
waited to think ; but unfortunately I insisted on Atkinson 
finding it. I thought it better then to speak to you of it, 
before I go so far as to exonerate my servants.' 

'Facts are very often but Jesuitical, two-faced liars, 
Beavoin,' said Mrs. Chirrup. 

'Perhaps. You are wiser than I am,' replied Lady 
Devereux impatiently. 'Mr. Blennerhasset, I should be 
glad to have your advice on the matter. Will it be well, 
after what I have said, to continue the search, or to let it 

He never moved from his position. With his hands 
still crossed on his bosom, his head slightly bent, his brow 
contracted, he stood immovable. Just a moment he 
paused before replying, 

' To let it drop.' 

No other words could have said more emphatically, ' I 
believe her guilty, this girl whom I have loved. But I 
cannot forget that I once loved her. Therefore I ask you 


to be merciful/ For answer Charlie Devereux turned full 
on the cleverest lawyer in Ireland. 

' You are not mad, for madmen have method ; but you 
are a fool, Blennerhasset.' 

Passion and surprise blazed in the blue eyes at words 
that few would have dared to utter — not one, perhaps, 
but handsome, gallant Charlie, lashed into uncontrollable 
rage by his loyal indignation. 

* You are a fool/ he repeated, supreme contempt irra- 
diating his face, curving his lips, dilating his nostrils. ' To 
think even for a second a woman like that could be guilty 
of such an abominable crime. If she had been starving in 
a hovel, she would not have done it.' 

' You will answer for these words,' said Rohan Blen- 
nerhasset, stung by the tone of the tirade. ' But, in justice 
to myself, I must be permitted to remind you of our 
meeting on Tuesday night.' 

c There is no need ; I have not forgotten.' 

1 While accusing me of gratuitous suspicion you omit 
to state that on the night in question, when everyone was 
asleep, I saw Miss L'Estrange come out of Lady Devereux's 
dressing-room window on to the terrace, and that so did 

' I saw her,' said Charlie steadily. 

* You saw, too, that she admitted and spoke with a man 
secretly, as if fearing detection. Lady Devereux has just 
stated that the bracelet which was on the table after the 
servants had retired was not there at three on Wednesday 
morning. You must admit that, if proof were wanting, 
our evidence must go to establish the fact that during that 
time no one was about, with the single exception of Miss 

k 2 


* I admit it ; but I tell you it does not cause me even for 
a moment to wrong a woman pure and good. Whoever 
took that bracelet, Miss L'Estrange is innocent.' 

There was scorn and unwavering belief in the true 
ringing voice. 

'Neither do I wrong her,' said Blennerhasset, still in 
the same hard, stern voice. ' I do not think she took from 
any paltry desire for profit, or that she was tempted by a 
glittering bauble. I believe that she has acted under 
influence. I do her justice, you see.' 

'Justice? You call that puny screening of yourself 
from contempt justice ? I tell you it is a foul, miserable 
insult, unworthy of a man, to believe that any influence 
could tempt such a woman. It is infamous to suppose it. 
If I saw her do it, if I heard her voice telling me she was 
guilty, I should disbelieve the evidence of my senses and 
believe only in her unalterable unaltered goodness.' 

Romantic, chivalrous Charlie ! He made a brave stand 
for the truth of the girl he loved so secretly and so well, 
and would not know when he was beaten. And all this 
time Lady Devereux's heart was hardening against this 
girl who had infatuated her son with her sad eyes. 

'I believe, then, that no further steps can be taken 
until we see if we can discover Miss L'Estrange,' she re- 
marked coldly. 

' We will let it be so if you wish, Aunt Beavoin,' said 
Miss Ingram, with a marked expression of determination. 
* I do not for a moment suppose that she knows anything 
about it ; but she is of more importance than a bracelet, so 
we will find her first.' 

' If you take my advice you will let the matter drop, as 


Lady Devereux lias suggested. It will be the kindest 

' Yes, yes,' said Lord Ingram, who had listened eagerly, 
speaking feebly, almost imploringly, and following Mr. 
Blennerhasset's lead. ' Let her go, let her go ; she has 
had enough of sorrow, I think, by her sad eyes.' 

' Yon too ! ' exclaimed Miss Ingram, with an indescri- 
bable despair. ' Uncle, you cannot believe her guilty ? * 

He shrank beneath that searching look — he quailed, he 
trembled, but all he could murmur was — 

'Let her go ; it is best.' 

* Yes, my love,' said Mrs. Chirrup tremulously ; * I do 
not blame her, but we cannot tell how she may have been 

' Everyone, everyone,' wailed Miss Ingram. ' Of what 
avail is goodness or truth ? Out of all her friends who 
daily saw her simple, single life, there are only left, 
Charlie, you and I.' 

They separated. The dressing bell had rung, and 
though their hearts might one and all be breaking, the 
evening costume must honour the banquet. Mr. Blenner- 
hasset retired to the room appropriated to him. It was 
no wonder that he should be puzzled and troubled ; but it 
was wonder that what puzzled him more than anything 
else in that hour of sorrow, should be the vigorous and 
energetic defence of her friend by the butterfly heiress. 

' Charlie,' whispered Miss Ingram, as she stole along 
the passage with him, i that man does not love her.' 

4 Why do you think that ? ' he whispered. 

c Because he is hard and cruel — unjust and suspicious ; 
because he has given utterance to thoughts for which I 


shall never forgive him. He is not worthy of Kate, or he 
would not have said them.' 

* Only the words of passion,' said Charlie Devereux 
slowly, bending over his cousin. * Don't attach any im- 
portance to them ; he forgot them as soon as they were 
said, and so must you,' 

' No, I won't,' she said resentfully, ' and I'm sure he 
doesn't. Ah ! you don't know him ; what a cold white 
anger his is ; how, when you think it is quite dead and 
ready to be cast out, it scorches and withers you up.' 

'He might keep up anger with others,' said Charlie, 
still speaking slowly, ' but not with the woman he loves. 
Don't believe it, Flossy.' 

The resentment died out of her face— everything, save 
a loving, tender admiration. 

* I was wrong,' she said, very humbly. ' Oh, Charlie, 
how good, how true you are.' 



' Blennerhasset, I have found a clue.' 

' What ? ' and the haughty head was raised in cold 
surprise from the pile of papers that littered the table of 
the Dublin chambers. 

'I have traced her,' and Charlie Devereux, travel- 
stained and dusty, threw himself on the couch, passing his 
hand wearily across his forehead. 


' I don't understand. You'll be good enough to 

Charlie looked up slowly. 

' You need not be jealous,' he said at length. * She need 
never know that my endeavours were more successful than 

' You are a complete puzzle to-night, and I hate riddles, 
remarked the lawyer, with haughty disdain. 

1 It is you who are the puzzle,' said Charlie, rising 
from the sofa. ' Is it nothing to you that I have dis- 
covered Miss L'Estrange ? ' 

The blue eyes flashed ominously. 

' Nothing ; except that it is kind of you to bring me the 
latest news. I think I had a conversation on this subject 
before. I meant it to be final, but you seem to have 

' No, I have not forgotten. But what if you told me, 
that since she had not thought it worth her while to give 
you any explanation, you desired all to be, as she evidently 
wished, at an end? What if you said that, and much 
more ? These were the words of passion.' 

1 You mistake ; they were the expression of my de- 
liberate, unalterable determination. Miss L'Estrange, 
from the hour in which she acted in a manner unbefitting 
the woman I had chosen, was nothing to me.' 

' Did you not love her ? ' 

• What if I did ? ' exclaimed the lawyer, losing all self- 
control. ' Is every folly a man commits to be thrown in 
his face till the end of time ? ' 

'Folly!' interrupted Charlie furiously. 'Why, the 
wisest thing you ever did was to love a girl a thousand 


times better than you. Call it selfishness, covetousness, 
presumption, but don't call it folly.' 

' Yon are welcome to your opinion,' and Mr. Blenner- 
ha3set relapsed into his supreme indifference. 

* Folly ? ' continued Charlie passionately. ' No, not 
folly, but cruelty and blindness to win her love by a 
show of yours, instead of leaving her for a better, a 
truer man.' 



Mr. Blennerhasset was nearly beside himself. Certainly 
there were many things calculated to put out even this 
calm, methodical gentleman. In the first place, this girl 
had deceived him ; that is to say, he had formed a certain 
estimate which she had failed to arrive at — an unpardonable 
offence in Mr. Blennerhasset's code. He never of course 
thonght of blaming his own judgment, of arraigning it 
for having arrived at favourable conclusions too hastily ; or, 
on the other hand, of assuming evil without just grounds. 
That was bad enough, but it was nothing like all; no, 
indeed, Miss Ingram, Flossy the flirt, what did she mean 
by her championship of the absent friend ? What did a 
butterfly know of friendship? It was much more likely 
that she assumed that tone merely because her perception 
told her that it would annoy and disappoint him. Of 
course, pure contrariness ; that was the name for it ; yet, 
somehow, there was a depth of earnestness in the contrari- 


ness that disappointed his calculations more than ever, 
which was the greatest of his grievances. Then, as if it 
was not enough for Miss Ingram to preach to him, there 
was Mrs. Chirrup as cold as might be Lady Devereux 
herself, merely because he had distrusted a stranger. Her 
grave, sad, reproving glance told him plainer than words 
that he was wrong and suspicious, instead of the reason- 
able, rigidly just man of discernment that he had always 
prided himself on being. Then there was that Charlie 
Devereux gone raving mad. Of course he must be mad 
to come and speak to him as he had done. Raving mad 
even to think of such a thing. What ! bring him, Rohan 
Blennerh asset, to book ? Tell him that his intelligent 
doubts were unworthy, baseless suspicions, signs of 
inherent instability ? The thing was only to be laid to 
lunacy of the most hopeless kind. 

Jenny Joy could not set herself to her work at all. 
Blinding her to the brilliant spangles, and yellow satin, and 
gold braid, came the vision of a sweet, sad face that only 
a few days ago she had envied, that only a few days ago 
she had arraigned before Heaven as a witness to the 
glaring discrepancy of her own lonely lot. Yes, envied ; not 
so far as to grudge her darling one tithe of the happiness 
crowding round her — oh, no, not so bad as that — but calling 
out to a just Providence that the lot of this girl was all 
bright and fair and beautiful, while hers was* dark, loath- 
some, gloomy with the gloom of a life solitude. 

What a terrible magnitude that sin of envy assumed 
now. It seemed to her terrified imagination that as she 
had hated her father to death, so she had envied Kate out 
of her fair place. She could not rid herself of this idea, 
reason as she might. It haunted her day and night. She 



had plenty of sound common sense, and logic too, ignorant 
though she was, but get rid of that thought she could not. 
She cried her eyes red in the depth of her remorse, and 
would not be comforted, though she told herself over and 
over that Heaven would surely never listen to her rebel- 
lious murmurings to injure Kate. The guilt was on her, 
and would not be shaken off. 

If she had found it hard to refrain from hating Rohan 
Blennerhasset, she found it well-nigh impossible now. All 
his calm judicial reason was so much cruelty to her, all 
his unanswerable justice rank injustice, his dispassionate 
resolve to exact an explanation before deigning again to 
notice Kate the grossest tyranny. A sudden revulsion of 
feeling came when she learned that Mr. Blennerhasset was 
gone on a tour through the country. 

* He is gone to seek her,' she said penitently. ' I had 
no right to judge. The words of passion are soon for- 
gotten. Mr. Devereux was right.' 

"Would he be successful ? That was the thought that 
troubled her day and night, that entangled her ideas 
of costumes, that hopelessly hindered her work, and sent 
the artists of the Theatre Royal into despair. Trained 
skirts for the ballet dancers and flounces to the waist for 
the tragedy queen became a common occurrence, while 
Hamlet found his velvet cloak charmingly bespangled the 
very night of performance. 

Many were the pilgrimages she made around and 
about, till the manager was driven to the very verge of 
despair ; but she could learn nothing, except of the move- 
ments of the great lawyer. 

He had gone north, and was starring it on his way. 
She was surprised at that, but considered that if he was 


feted, and lauded, and dragged into public, it was the 
misfortune of his wide-spread fame. At last the news 
came that he was coming back. He would surely come 
through Rosehill. He did ; and the instant she knew he 
was at the little inn she started to catch him before he 
should have time to change horses for Ingram. 

There was no sign of changing horses before the inn, 
though there was a great bustle, as there always was 
wherever Mr. Blennerhasset stopped. She learned in- 
cidentally that the distinguished visitor was to remain an 
hour, at the end of which time the carriage was to be 
ready to take him to town. 

' I want to see Mr. Blennerhasset, ' Jenny Joy said, 
stepping up to the door. 

' Ah, now, think of that,' said the head waiter, with 
a smile of good-humoured irony. ' Maybe it's the Prince 
of Wales ye want, only ye made a thrifling mistake ? ' 

The wee mite looked up at him in astonishment. It 
had never struck her that there would be anything strange 
in her speaking to Kate's engaged husband. Now the 
quickness of her instinct revealed the man's meaning ; 
but she would see Mr. Blennerhasset, though it looked 
ten times as strange. 

' Don't stand there grinning like a sheep's head cooked. 
I have business with Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

' Business, is it ? To be sure, what mistakes people 
will make. It's a visit I thought it was,' the man said, 
still with the same good-humoured smile on his face. 

The black eyes began to flash. A sudden noise directed 
her attention to a window ; a servant had just thrown it 
open. She looked in. Mr. Blennerhasset. was reading a 
letter at the table, and in an instant she was beside him. 


He waited to finish the letter before he even looked ; 
then he certainly started a little. It was getting dusk, 
and there was something uncommonly elfish in the appear- 
ance of the dressmaker of the Theatre Royal, who had 
entered without opening a door, and who looked as if it 
would have been quite as easy for her to have flown in 
through the window as to have stepped over the sill. 

' How did yon come here ? ' 

' Have yon heard anything of Elate ? ' 

It had not struck him as strange in the little attic that 
Miss L'Estrange should be called simply Kate by the 
witch; but it grated queerly on his ear now. Miss 
L'Estrange might have been his wife, and who was this 
weird sprite who called her Kate ? 

' What is Miss L'Estrange to you ? ' 

* What is she to me ? ' said Jenny, folding her small 
arms, with a strange, puzzled look, 'why, everything. 
She's all that I have in the world. Have you heard of 

' Is she related to you ? ' 

* No, no ; she is only my pet bird, my little ladybird, 
my heart's treasure. What relationship is equal to that ? 
Have you nothing to tell me ? ' 

' Nothing,' he said at length, constrained to answer her 
tone of pained entreaty. 'What should I have to tell 

' Had you no success at all at all ? Not a word ? Has 
your long journey been for nothing ? ' 

' No ; my journey has not been for nothing, but I have 
nothing to tell you concerning Miss L'Estrange. I cannot 
even imagine why you apply to me.' 

' What ! Haven't you been looking for her ? ' 


If a glance could have annihilated, Jenny would have 
disappeared in a fit of spontaneous combustion. It told 
her at once the haughty contempt with which he repudi- 
ated all claim of Kate. 

' Looking for whom ? ' 

' For Kate, Miss L'Estrange, your wife that is to be.' 

' Miss 1/ Estrange will never be any wife of mine. She 
was a stranger to me when believing in her innate good- 
ness I chose her ; she is a stranger to me now that I 
know how I was deceived. It is an insult to suppose any- 
thing else.' 

He recoiled a step before the blazing tempest of wrath 
that swept over the sallow face, lighting up the glorious, 
flashing eyes, blazoning its haughty crimson on the thin, 
pinched cheek of the little worker. 

' How dare you ? How dare you, I say, couple insult 
with the name of one who is a thousand times too good for 
you ? Deceived you ! No ; she never deceived you, but 
you deceived her, for you pretended to love her, and I tell 
you that you never loved her.' 

Perhaps there was just the sting of truth in the elfs 
words. Perhaps it was that that brought the angry blood 
to his face and brow. Perhaps it was that gave power to 
this insigniGcant little creature to provoke this impassive 
man of law. 

'You forget yourself, Miss Joice. I am not to be 
called to account for my actions.' 

' No, no ; you never loved her, or you would love her 
now. You never loved her, or you would know how to 
trust her now. Oh, I wouldn't give much for your. love 
or liking, Mr. Blennerhasset ; it's fairweather liking, and 
when the first little storm comes, good-bye to it. But how 


dare yon turn round and say she deceived yon? Yon 
deceived her, and yon deceived me. I thought all this 
time yon were looking for her, and only for that thought 
I'd have been hunting for her myself. Poor thing, poor 
thing ! we have left her to her fate, whatever it is, with- 
out much trouble. Never be your wife ? No, I hope she 
won't. I should die if she married you, for you hate her, 
and I hate you.' 

She stopped suddenly, wringing her hands as if in pain. 

'I never thought that word to pass my lips again. 
Forgive me, sir. I don't hate you ; no, I don't. But don't 
you hate my poor darling ; no, don't, or you may be 
sorry for it all your life.' 

He paced the room up and down. At length he 

' Do yon know anything of her ? ' 

'No ; I wish I did.' 

' 1 mean as to why she went away.' 

'No, sir.' 

' And yet you judge me hardly. What right have you 
to do that? She has gone away without a word of 
explanation. She has dragged my name before a scandal- 
loving public. Supposing I hated her, would I not have a 
right to do so ? ' 

' Oh, that she should have loved this man ! ' exclaimed 
Miss Joice, with ineffable disdain, as she turned away. ' Oh, 
to think she could have thought he loved her ! ' 

She was gone, and the momentary interest that always 
attached itself to her originality and vigour died out, and 
he remembered only the annoyance of even this little crea- 
ture presuming to join in the universal reproach that was 
only so stinging because it was so true. 





Miss Ingram was sorely troubled. But for the abstraction 
of the diamond bracelet she would have known what to do. 
She had summoned Balfe, but he did not come, though she 
knew he was near, and she soon guessed that this new 
trouble was but part of his scheme to render her powerless 
— the answer to her declaration that she could no longer 
keep silence. She had heard nothing from Charlie for a 
very long time, and Lord Ingram's health began visibly to 
fail. He had never been quite the same since that 
apoplectic fit ; and if she recurred to the conversation that 
brought it on, what could she say to comfort him ? While 
telling him that the outcast was no longer an unlettered 
child, but a graceful lovely girl, she could not hide this 
new stigma. In this perplexity she received a letter from 
her old friend Robert Dalzell, promising a visit. 

She welcomed this simple, single-minded painter as she 
would have welcomed no other. He would sympathise 
with her grief without a single attempt to pry into it. 
Mrs. Chirrup, too, esteemed Robert Dalzell beyond all 
others. She was simple enough to understand his sim- 
plicity, good enough to reverence his goodness, clever 
enough to recognise the genius of this man, who bore his 
success as patiently and meekly as though it had not come 
too late ; as he had borne the adversity of his early life, 
the bitter disappointments that had brought old age in 


After all it is a great sorrow this — to bear old age on 
your silvered hair, your furrowed brow, while your heart 
is yet young. Men can fold their arms in contentment and 
say, ' I have lived my life ;' but how few can summon 
perfect resignation while the human heart within them is 
crying out, * I have never lived my life. I never shall live 
it as other men do ; it has been taken from me.' Yet this 
was what Robert Dalzell was doing. 

True he could say, ' I have lived and loved.' He had 
dearly loved the pretty gentle girl who had gone to the 
same village school, who had come to him, always to him, 
in any trifling perplexity, with an instinctive sense of the 
pleasure it gave him to serve her. But she had not loved 
him ; he had never been anything but a very dear brother 
to her ; and when he went away to seek his fortune, she 
gave her heart to the bold dashing scamp who had been 
Robert's comrade. Perhaps it was this event that caused 
him to become such an earnest worker, paying the penalty 
that earnest workers always do, that had caused him to 
throw himself heart and soul into the effort to support his 
mother. Oh, how hard he had struggled all these years 
for a mere pittance, but still he struggled on, and all the 
time he was wearing away his youth. 

Well, well, it was all over now. Success had come, 
but his mother was dead. He was alone in the world, but 
it was too late to alter that now. He could never get 
another mother, and old age had come upon him. He was 
not one now to seek a wife. If success had only come 
when he was yet young ! 

It was a dangerous thought, and he would not dwell 
on it. He never thought of arraigning the goodness of the 
Providence that had permitted him to spend the best years 



of his life in a struggle for bread. But he was sometimes 
tempted to bow his head beneath the sudden success that 
crushed him, and ask why, when withheld so long, it was 
bestowed now ; why he was not permitted, having struggled 
through life, to struggle out of it, to go down to his grave 
without having had time to think of the struggle ? 

How we pity the workers who, still workers, earnest, 
disappointed workers, slip out of life without sound of 
muffled drum and honorary salute and velvet pall. How 
we wonder at the mysterious decrees which permit these 
men, workers all their lives, to work to the end, only to 
rest on the other side of Jordan. 

How we clap our hands and exult at the traditional 
poetic justice that crowns the busy sculptor with bays, 
that flings sudden laurels on the brow of the painter who 
for forty years was obscure. How we hug to ourselves the 
axiom that time rights all things. And yet it might have 
been better for that sculptor that he had still bent his 
mighty mind to creating dreams of beauty out of stone 
and marble, that he never had leisure to recall the face of 
the wife of his youth, who died in the cold chill garret 
long years before, of the wee baby who smiled in Heaven 
as, poor pinched little thing, it had never smiled on earth ; 
better for the painter that a great need to live somehow 
had still compelled him to reproduce the phantoms of the 
past on canvas, that in their ideal beauty he might forget 
that he was too young to be thus lonely, too old to ever be 
anything else; that he might be forced to give vent to 
feelings that, nursed under his cloak, would gnaw his 
heart out. 

Perhaps it was some instinctive conception of a great 
sorrow that attracted these women to Robert Dalzell, that 



determined Miss Ingram to confide her perplexities to him. 
Pacing under the beech trees, away from all listening ears, 
she told him her story. He received it in all simplicity, 
for he set down her bounty of esteem to the goodness of 
her heart, not to any merit of his. 

* I could not have acted otherwise,' she said, after a 
pause in which she had waited anxiously for him to speak. 
* I would not have promised that man to be silent but that 
I knew it would be harder on Lord Tngram to welcome 
one daughter who was a disgrace to him, than to mourn 
the loss of twenty did he love them as his life.' 

'But do you not think his suffering now is greatly 
owing to grief for his daughter's fate ? ' 

* Oh, yes,' and she sighed. 

'Well, then, don't you think it would be well to set 
his mind at ease, to tell him that this young lady, charm- 
ing, accomplished even, as you describe her, is his veritable 
daughter ? ' 

*Mr. Dalzell, it would damage everything. It might 
afford him some transient relief to know she was no out- 
cast ; but to receive her with this new slur upon her 
would for ever prevent his placing full confidence in her, 
and thus be an effectual barrier to his and her happiness. 
No, no, if he cannot give her from his heart an honourable 
welcome, I almost think he had better never welcome 
her at all. If — if anything happened to him, of course 
Kate would at once step into her place. It could not 
grieve him then.' 

' Does he then believe her capable of this petty theft ? ' 

'He does. After seeing her from day to day, after 
being compelled to acknowledge that he felt she was good, 
he does believe it. Is it not incredible ?' 


He bowed his head in silence, and they strolled to and 
fro nnder the grand old trees. 

' And worse than that, Mr. Dalzell, Mr. Blennerhasset 
believes the same.' 

* Then he never loved her.' 

* Pardon, he did love her, but it is his nature to distrust 
even where he loves.' 

' He never did love her or he would love her still.' 
Her heart gave a great throb of pain, so keen that it 

was not all pain ; then it went away, and she said, very 


* He did love her ; he loves her still.' 
' You think that ? ' 

1 1 know it.' 

* And he has given up all search ? * 

' It is not his nature to seek one whom he distrusts ever 
so slightly.' 

' What ground then have you for saying he still loves 

« He is unhappy.' 

< Ah ! ' 

Perhaps a chord was touched' that breathed of a time 
when he had not distrusted and yet was unhappy. Per- 
haps he thought love might take a different form with 
great and clever men to what it did with such a simple, 
foolish person as himself. Be that as it may, he offered no 
farther condemnation of Mr. Blennerhasset. 

' You, too, have been' unhappy,' he said, without the 
most remote idea of connecting his remark with Miss 
Ingrain's last sentence. She felt sick and giddy. She 
forgot that no word had been uttered that could afford 
him a clue to her secret. She only remembered that she 

L 2 


had a secret, and this man in his simple guilelessness 
seemed to her so marvellously wise. 

* I have been considering of late, Mr. Dalzell, that we 
are not born merely to please ourselves. It is not always 
easy to perceive the design of our being, but it is never one 
so unworthy as that ; though we are so willing to make it 
our religion, that trouble, sore trouble, is sometimes needed 
to turn us from our idolatry.' 




All along the view winds the broad river that formed the 
eastern boundary of Ingram. From the Shannon to the 
sea the demesne spread in hill and valley and forest and 
lawn. Great trees guard the banks of the beautiful river, 
drooping willows stoop to kiss its waves. Heavy clouds, 
piled in all the majesty of a gorgeous sunset, shine in 
barbaric splendour in the western heavens, tipping the 
mountains with fire, turning the waters into blood. 

A man sits on the river bank. He has thrown aside in 
despair his canvas, stained as it is with brilliant patches. 
TTia genius has flown ; Nature defies him. 

It has happened so before. But he has struggled, and 
been triumphant, for his genius has returned mightier than 
ever. But why struggle now ? 

He is rich enough ; and for fame — what is it ? There 
is not a single human being whom he could expect to 


rejoice at his success or weep for his trouble. The dark 
hour was upon him. He could not think of Miss Ingram's 
troubles, he could see nothing but his own loneliness. 

His spirit travelled over the records of the past, only to 
grow tired and weary ; over the bleak and barren future, 
only to grow more tired and weary still. 

' Work ? yes, I must work/ he said, taking up his easel. 
' It is the, only cure. It has answered before, why not 
now ? ' 

But again the clouds were patches ; the purple moun- 
tains formless streaks on the canvas. In despair he 
dropped it, and buried his face in his hands. 

' Am I losing that, too ? Is nothing to be left to me — 
not even my art ? ' 

Indescribable wretchedness was in his voice — in his 
attitude. He sat thus, when suddenly a soft hand 
touched his shoulder. 

' Is it in trouble you are, sir ? ' 

Was it fancy, or was it the sweet young face of Susie 
Longford ? He sat for some seconds gazing into the face 
that suddenly had grown pale. She clasped her hands 
in mute entreaty. What would he say to her, this man 
who had loved her mother ? He would not reproach her, 
he was too magnanimous for that ; but he would turn from 
her in disgust; and, oh! how she had longed for his 
esteem ; she had coveted his good opinion as ardent, 
passionate natures covet. 

Was it all a beautiful, beautiful dream, or did he really 
take her hands in his ? Was it really his voice that 
sounded in the still evening ? 

* Jenny, dear child, have I really found you at last ? ' 

She looked up at him timidly, wonderingly. 



* I hunted everywhere for yon, Jenny. Why did yoi 

hide from me all these years ? ' 

' You hunted for me, sir, after the way I went away ? 

* You don't suppose I thought any ill of you ? Child 
I know you better than you know yourself. I could no 
think ill of you. I never did.' 

' You trusted me?' said the little creature, and the tear 
fell like rain. ' You trusted me through all ?' 

* Through all, Jenny.' 
She looked up in wondering admiration of the grav 

strength on the furrowed face ; but she could not tell wha 
gave that sudden ring of gladness to a voice ever pure an< 
true. Neither in truth could he. He did not know that i 
was the thought of possession that had brought back hi 
genius, that made him feel he was once again Rober 
Dalzell the painter ; that the glorious sunset, the gorgeou 
splendour that had defied him an hour ago, would grow a 
.1 his touch into a being that should live for centuries — tin 

evidence of a Divine art. Yes, he had discovered a humai 
being so linked to the past that no one could dispute hi; 
claim upon her, his right to lavish on her the wealth of i 
nature that had defied alike untimely adversity and pros 
perity to render misanthropical. It was a wonderfa 


ijj This child should be his daughter. He did not put th< 

";' idea into words, but it was a glorious thought that her eyei 

J might grow bright at his success; that her heart — tha 

heart that he knew to be so warm, so passionate — migh 

thrill at the fame he would now value. 

She was not a pretty child, some would have said, o 

woman, whichever she was ; for as she had been a womai 

in childhood, so now she was a child in womanhood. Ye 



with his artistic love of the beautiful, the graceful in out- 
line, the glowing and harmonious in colouring, he would 
not have exchanged that little black-eyed elf — that relic of 
the long past, with the memories of a dreamy southern 
village home, where Sabbath mornings had a balmier air, 
and sweet church bells had a more silvery chime than in 
any part of the wide, wide world ; in whose far-off legends 
were the golden days of his dreary life — for an Aphrodite. 


miss bayley's lodger. 

It was a breezy, beautiful little seaside town where Kate 
found her new home. Her duties were tolerably heavy, 
but her gentle manner made her a favourite ; and she did 
not regret that, when the children's lessons were over, Mrs. 
Meltham preferred that she should read to her to going 
out with the Indians. 

Mrs. Meltham's cottage was nearer to the beach than 
any other. The pretty strip of lawn broken up by flower- 
beds innumerable, brilliant with winter flowers, stretched 
from the bay windows down to the water side. The draw- 
ing-room was large and commodious, and commanded a 
full view of Tramore Bay. In a low comfortable chair by 
the fire the widow sat placidly working at a woollen lamb. 

She was a woman with whom the world had gone 
pretty smooth ; that is to say, she had no nearer trouble 
than the death of near and dear relations, whose obsequies 



did not come out of her pocket, and whose loss, involving 
no corresponding pecuniary distress, was a matter to be 
. mourned in a resigned, Christian way. 

She was not a cruel woman ; that is to say, she would 
not have inflicted upon herself the pain of seeing anything 
in violent agony. On the same principle she would not 
impose upon persons with a temper likely to flare up, or 
with dangerously sarcastic propensities. But Miss 
L'Estrange had come to her without references ; and as 
she had a quiet, timid manner that inspired confidence, it 
was but natural to Mrs. Meltham to require sundry 
services not usually expected, even of nursery governesses, 
to make good her deficiencies in the all-important matter. 
She would, for instance, let down her back hair, and 
graciously permit Kate to stand, brush in hand, for an hour 
or two, with aching back, and tired feet, and strained 
hands. Perhaps the most aggravating part of it was the 
way in which she constantly declared her surprise at the 
peculiar fancy Miss L'Estrange had for brushing her hair. 

Miss L'Estrange was reading. She was not quite so 
near the fire as the lady, but that, perhaps, was after all 
not such a disadvantage, as she was less susceptible to the 
chill of the passages, when every five minutes the reading 
was interrupted, and the reader despatched to the kitchen, 
or to the top bedroom to see if the windows were shut, or 
begged just to put on her hat and run down to the beach, 
and see that no worse harm than probable death by starva- 
tion from cold was come to the shivering "West Indians, 
her charges. 

Mrs. Meltham was unusually provoking to-day. Twice 
had Kate been down to the windy, shingly beach ; out each 
time just long enough for the blustering north wind to 


pierce her through and through, hut not long enough for 
it to brace her. Three times had she been down to the 
irritated Betty, whose temper she felt sure would not stand 
another message from the parlour ; five times had she been 
to give tiny commands to the meek, martyred housemaid, 
who began to look upon Kate as the baleful author of the 
tantalising particularities that worried her life out. Fully 
three minutes had elapsed since the last errand had been 
despatched, and Kate began to pause in her reading, ex- 
pecting every moment the interruption that must come. 

* Miss I/Estrange.' 

Kate laid down her book with a look of utter weariness. 
Inexpressibly dreary was this life becoming to her. Shut 
out from all intercourse with her kind ; reduced to an isola- 
tion even greater than that of her early life, since she had 
now no Jenny ; condemned to a perpetual companionship 
with this woman, between whose nature and hers there was 
a great gulf fixed that neither could bridge over. And let me 
tell, if you do not already know, that the dreariest solitude 
is preferable to such companionship as that. The lonely 
old maid can fill the vacant chair in her vivid fancy ; can 
make the sweet face of a loved one smile sympathisingly 
over the hissing tea-urn ; can bid dear voices discourse of 
that which is nearest to her heart. But when the chair is 
filled by a bodily presence, the illusion is not so easily 
produced ; more especially if it is a presence commanding 
a thousand petty exactions — the tithes and taxes that a 
woman of position exacts from her poorer sister. It is not 
so easy to surround ourselves with the spirits of the past, 
when their airy being is put to flight by the presence of a 
negative force that never can be anything but a negative 
at best, that while depriving you of the resources your soul 


craves to keep it from melancholy madness, can never, by 
any chance, assimilate itself to your wants. If you are 
alone, in the common acceptation of the term, yon can give 
vent to your grief, your despair, to the rocks, the trees, 
the mountains. You can brace yourself to loneliness 
with the free sweet air of Heaven ; you can, if deprived of 
other ambition, measure your fleetness with the chamois, 
pit your skill against the brute force of the lower creation. 
Or, at the worst, if poverty ties you down to the curse 
of Adam, you can pursue your toil, and shut yourself up 
in a field of fancy where Les a sun brighter than any 
our earth ever looked up to, where trees are greener 
and flowers more fragrant, where the birds have a 
sweeter melody, a more thrilling song. But tied to an 
uncongenial companion — worst of all in a subservient 
position, watching word and look, denied the boon of per- 
fect silence even ; you are not only in solitude, but in chains, 
your plight is worse than that of the hapless sufferers 
chained to the dead bodies, for they at least might cry out 
their loathing and detestation of the horrid incubus. 

* I have just been thinking,' Mrs. Meltham continued, 
* that perhaps that gentleman I mentioned to Miss Bayley 
has arrived, and she has not thought it worth her while to 
let me know. Considering that it was I who wrote to 
him, it is not polite of her, but she is quite capable of it. 
Put on your hat, and go over and ask with my compli- 
ments if there are any new arrivals. ' 

Kate had always been a coward, and she could not 
dispute with this woman, who had taken her without 

Miss Bayley's private boarding-house was almost the 
next house, it was therefore no walk. She knocked at 


the prim-looking door with its resplendent knocker, and it 
was opened by Miss Bayley herself. 

* Law, child ! Come inside ; you're blue with cold.' 

* No, thank you, Miss Bayley.' 
' Going for a walk ? ' 


* Well, you ought to be. You'd come back red instead 
of blue. You might as well be in all this time as keeping 
me here too.' 

' Mrs. Meltham only wants to know if the gentleman 
she spoke about has come.' 

'That she recommended; say it out. Just like her. 
"Well, you may tell her that he has, and it's just like her to 
recommend such a lodger to a decent woman. He's mad, 
stark, staring mad. There, you needn't look scared, he's 
not about just now, but he's mad if ever a man was. He 
doesn't know turtle soup from mutton broth, and he thinks 
to convert me into a general directory. Fact, I assure 
you. Talk of the Bengal Tiger — but he's turned the 
house topsy-turvy since he's been here, and just you tell 
Mrs. Meltham so, if she has the ladylike tact to turn her 
wards' governess into a messenger.' 

Miss Bayley paused. She was a short woman. Short 
every way. Short of body, short of speech, and short of 

* Good morning, then.' 

* One moment. You see I told you we might as well be 
inside. Come in, do.' 

'Thank you, I'd rather not,' said Kate gratefully. 
She had a liking for the sharp-spoken little woman, 
and the sharp-spoken little woman had a liking for her. 

'Well, the like of you for obstinacy I never met. 



You're a mule, nothing else. Tell Mrs. Meltham that this 
model of a lodger is coming to call on her in two or three 
days' time — that's to say, when he's broken the neck of all 
the mares in the county. Goodness help Tramore if all 
the visitors were like him. And the worst of it is all these 
vagaries that throw honest people out of their senses is to 
pick up some young lady who has run away from him or 
from somebody. So you see it's no wonder for me to call 
him mad. Why, child, aren't you well ? Come in, do.' 

The girl roused herself from the stupor that had fallen 
upon her, and turned mechanically from the sharp eyes. 

* No ; Mrs. Meltham will be waiting.' 

She returned to the house with the bay windows, paus- 
ing a moment at the door to collect her thoughts. -Some 
subtle instinct told her that she was the .one sought; 
but did no like perception tell her who was the seeker ? 
Why, who could it be but the man who loved her ? 

But did he love her so much as that ? With all the 
clinging dependence of her nature, she craved a great 
strong heart like that to lean against. But was he not a 
just man ? Was it not possible that he was merely come 
to drag the truth to light ? Which was it — love or justice ? 
Hovering between her longing for the one and her fears 
for the other, she could not decide whether to fly or re- 

But where could she go did she so decide ? Where 
would she get another situation without references ? And 
then might she not after all be only flying from one willing 
to protect her from all ? 

But then to stay ! Supposing it were but to meet 
detection P The mere thought sent the blood in a great 


surging flood back upon her heart, as though it would 
have stilled its beating for ever. 

Voices in the drawing-room made her pause as she 
opened the front door. Could it be that Rohan Blenner- 
hasset had gained a sure clue, and had come there straight 
to meet her ? 

Powerless, incapable of movement or thought, she 
stood there till the rustle of a dress, and the sound of 
voices nearer, warned her that they were coming out. 
How would he come ; as her lover or her judge ? 

' I am troubling you unnecessarily,' said a clear, ring- 
ing voice, to that weary listener full of the silver echoes of 
a beautiful past. 'I can see the rhododendrons another 

'No trouble, I assure you,' said the widow. 'Ah, 
Kate, are you back ? See where the children are, will you.' 

' How do you do, Miss L'Estrange ? ' said the gentle- 
man, coming forward with outstretched hand. *I am 
very glad to see you.' 

She looked up into the kind face, she touched the 
strong warm hand, she drank in the kindly tones of the 
true voice. But alas and alas ! it was the face, the hand, 
the voice, not of the man who had taught her to love him, 
only of the man who loved her. 

'You are acquainted with Miss 1/ Estrange,' Mrs. 
Meltham remarked, with no little surprise; 'that is the 
secret of your enquiries, then ? ' 

* I have that honour,' said Charlie Devereux in a tone 
that precluded further enquiry. 

Would he betray her ? Was that grave quiet tone 
only the perfection of irony, or was it friendship, firm and 
strong ? Once again she raised her beseeching eyes to the 


face of Charlie. What did she see there? Trust, per- 
fect unswerving trust ; confidence, that like an invigo- 
rating cordial gave her fresh life to toil on her weary 
pilgrimage. There was no need for prayer or promise ; he 
would never betray her. It somehow broke the shock of 
the disappointment, this conviction. 

' I have much to tell you concerning your friends,' he 
whispered, as he stooped to examine one of the hardy 
winter plants of which Mrs. Meltham was so proud. He 
could not for the life of him help giving her this assur- 
ance ; she looked so wan, so weary. 

* I can only wait to hear it on one condition,' she 
said, in a low tone. * That you give me your word not to 
write or speak of me to any of your friends.' 

' Surely you don't think ' 

' Promise. Oh ! Mr. Devereux, promise. Do not drive 
me from this shelter, do not. I am a poor weak coward, I 
cannot battle with the world ; I cannot brave its poverty 
any more than I can face its censure. And yet, if you 
refuse me this, I must go forth again, houseless, homeless. 
Think of that, Mr. Devereux — houseless, homeless.' 

* I give you the promise until you shall yourself re- 
lease me. That will be when I shall have explained how 
very anxious they all are to hear of you.' 

She bent her head in mute gratitude. She could not 
bring her white lips to thank him. She could only 
whisper — 

'I trust your word, remember.' 

Enough, surely, to make a man suspicious. Enough to 
make him not only wonder, but distrust. And yet he 
neither suspected nor distrusted. Oh! this great, big, 
us heart of his; how grand, how noble, how rare a 


thing it was. Was that a gift to be trampled under a 
woman's caprice ? 

They passed on ; and after that Mrs. Meltham took very- 
good care to keep near her visitor till she had time 
to despatch Kate to the returned West Indians. There 
was no time for explanations, and that was how Charlie did 
not keep his promise to Miss Ingram to write her news of 
Kate the instant he had discovered her. 



The beach of Tramore. I suppose most people know* what 
that means. A broad sweep of white sand, some seven 
miles round, with tiny pink pebbles and yellow sea shells 
twinkling in the cold wintry sunlight. 

How the March wind blows across that beautiful white 
beach with the pink and yellow shells. How it blusters 
and blares, though the sun is peeping out, shivering all 
sense and feeling, except the sense and feeling of pain and 
cold and misery, out of those trembling, cowering, yellow- 
skinned children, who wrap their little blue cloth jackets 
round them so piteously, and make such frantic endeavours 
to stretch their short skirts or trousers over their little 
mottled legs, that the short socks imperfectly cover, and 
that look a good deal more like pairs of sticks than pairs 
of legs belonging to real live boys and girls. 

Poor children! No wonder for them to shiver and 


cower before this fierce, angry wind. They have come 
from a warmer clime, where damp is vapour, and where 
the breath of the storm king comes rather like the hot 
passion of a tropical nature than the biting, scathing sar- 
casms of a frigid one. They are Mrs. Meltham's West 
Indians ; two boys and three girls. They are all dressed 
pretty much alike. That is to say, all are dressed in blue 
cloth, and in all trousers and skirts is the same remark- 
able shortness observable, which leaves between the socks 
and the upper garments a certain space of mottled surface, 
devoted to the March wind, very much like a sop to 

They go along hand in hand, not even making believe 
to gather shells, or indulging in any other of those social 
humbugs which have penetrated to, or emanated from, the 
nursery. Every little ragged urchin gathering seaweed, 
every bare-legged, bare-armed, bare-necked little girl was 
a fresh aggravation to their misery. It made them fancy 
almost that they had no shoes or socks or jackets either, 
and they felt so very cold that it was only by looking at 
them they felt they had them. A little behind these five 
wretched children, the wind blustered on two people walk- 
ing side by side. It was the West Indians' governess and 
Miss Bayley's lodger. 

Don't imagine that Miss L'Estrange had escaped, and, 
above all, escaped to meet a gentleman with a moustache, 
without the exercise of a little diplomacy. Not at all. 
Mrs. Meltham was a very proper person to have the care 
of young ladies, whatever might have been her capabilities 
with regard to West Indians. Nothing would have 
induced her to relax her usual rule of being read to, but a 
quiet hint thrown out by Charlie that he might call in the 


early part of the afternoon. This was after several inef- 
fectual attempts to see Kate for explanation, and it resulted 
in Mrs. Meltham packing the governess away for a walk 
this blustering day; for she had already observed what 
looked uncommonly like an understanding between the 
two young people, and what would the world say if the 
heir of Devereux contracted a mesalliance under her roof? 
That was how the boisterous wind, tumbling along, came 
upon a lady and gentleman instead of on a rosy-cheeked 

'Mr. Devereux,' she said at length, 'you are very kind, 
and I thank you, but you have only told me what I partly 
guessed. I know Miss Ingram's noble nature so well, that 
I can well believe she would form the kindest judgment 
respecting the girl she has befriended for years. Mrs. 
Chirrup, too ; ah ! she could not be herself and speak 
other than kindly of anyone, especially anyone unfortunate.' 

* I may write, then, to relieve their anxiety ? ' 

'No. So far is what you tell me from shaking my 
resolution, that it but confirms it. I shall never return, 
and, what is more, they must never hear from me.' 

' Miss L' Estrange ! ' He was perfectly astounded. 
Enough to make him suspicious, surely. 'You will not 
compel me to observe such a hard condition as that? 
When they are waiting, too, with open arms to receive you ? ' 

'I know Miss Ingram, how good, how magnanimous 
she is, and it is just that very nobleness that tells me I 
must never see her again. Mr. Devereux, don't imagine I 
have torn myself from friends so kind, from all that makes 
life so precious, without a struggle, or from any caprice. 
I can give you no explanation, though I know how strange 

vol. ir. M 


this entreaty for secrecy must appear to job. 
me if yon must, but do not break jour promise.* 

* Hiss I/Estrange, I never distrusted yon, oar da I 

She was too agitated and troubled to grasp the Call 
meaning of this assurance, yet it comforted her in some 
dim, indistinct way. 

* Yon do not retract your promise ? ' 

* lib, I cannot do that, bat I cannot keep it quietly. I 
must entreat yon till yon absolve me from it. 9 

* Do not, 9 she said, with a mournful g r avity that struck 
him painfully as an echo of hopelessness. ' It will make 
my lot harder to bear, but it can effect no other pur pose* 

* Bnt there is one subject I must touch on.' It was 
now Charlie's turn to hesitate, but after a moment" he 
went on bravely — ' You will at least let me inform Mr. 
Blennerhasset of your whereabouts.' 

She did not answer. Handsome Charlie stole one 
glance at the pale, chiselled face, to which the blustering 
wind brought not one tinge of colour. It smote him like 
the dead, white nice of a corpse done to death by his hand. 

' I am a brute, a perfect brute,' he muttered savagely 
to himself 'and a mean-spirited one to boot.' Then he 
spoke aloud in a rapid, decided tone — 

' I must not conceal that he has been very anxious 
about you. He had a right to be, you know. I have been 
fortunate enough to find you first, but he might have been 
the lucky one. I may let him know ? ' 

'Not now, Mr. Devereux,' she said in a low tone. 
Perhaps we shall speak of this again.' 



Charlie's experiment. 

Kate grew accustomed to seeing Charlie daily. She no 
longer grew nervous at his approach ; she reposed uncon- 
sciously in the comfort his presence gave her. 

All this time, Charlie, noble, generous, high-spirited 
Charlie, was making an experiment. A little while ago he 
had felt no more doubt of the mutual love of two persons 
than he did of his own existence. Now he had discovered 
that his estimate of the one was altogether wrong, at any 
rate as far as impulses went, might it not be that he had 
mistaken the other with regard to depth of feeling ? 

He noticed that the pale cheek of the governess grew 
more wan as the days went by. But this might be caused 
by other things than the loss of a lover. 

Day by day the thought grew that he might claim a, 
right to comfort this poor crushed creature, whose helpless- 
ness was a stronger spell than had been her pride of 
beauty. He could not forget that whatever the unhappy 
fate that had cut her off from her friends, Blennerhasset 
had left her to it. 

Then there crept into the loyal heart of this man a new 
thought. Was it right, was it honourable, to steal away 
another man's betrothed, to take advantage of that man's 
momentary passion, to use the seeming cruelty and exac- 
tion of love to deal him a death-blow, to supplant him as 
might a coward the stronger, braver warrior ? 

h 2 


Once this idea had taken root, Charlie resolved what to 
do. Rohan Blennerhasset was not a man to be argued 
with. There was but one course open. Kate must be 
prevailed upon to see him once at least, and he must con- 
trive some plan by which Blennerhasset might be brought 
to her. If at a meeting his love showed no sign, Charlie 
felt he would be justified in believing that it was, as the 
lawyer had told him, dead. 

Just like Charlie was Charlie's plan, overleaping in a 
reckless fashion obstacles that graver and steadier persons 
would have spent months, ay, years, in removing, or lose 
their way getting round. Disregarding all hindrances, he 
resolved to accomplish what he set about, and he did. 

'It can do no good/ Kate had said, but she did not 
forbid him bringing her face to face with Rohan Blenner- 
rhasset. Her heart craved for a kind word from him ; a 
gentle good-bye was all that might pass between them, she 
knew ; but the memory of that would be something to keep 
in the darkness of the coming years. 

Only a good-bye. She knew that now. She knew she 
had done this upright, honourable man a great wrong ever 
to have thought of marrying him. She was wiser now, 
•and very thankful that the wisdom in all its bitterness had 
•not come too late. 

Perhaps it was only weakness, this wish to see him once 
Again. Very likely ; she always had been weak, and she 
thought she would like to ask him to have kind thoughts 
of her. 

Rohan Blennerhasset was in his chambers when a 
letter with a country postmark reached him. The direc- 
tion was in a lady's handwriting, and he looked at it sus- 
iciously, turning it over and over. At length, somewhat 


reassured by the angular character of the writing, he 
opened it. 

Who was Mrs. Meltham ? Why had she grown so 
suddenly uneasy as to the stability of the bond between 
herself and the guardians of the West Indians ? That was 
what he was trying to think, what he thought he was 
thinking ; and all the time a flushed, indignant face danced 
before his eyes, the angular writing on the unexception- 
able paper ran out into bold, stern words : * How dare you 
suspect her ? Is your friend only to be trusted while she 
is in your sight ? ' Words very unlike Mrs. Meltham, 
not at all suitable to her style of writing ; and at last he 
became conscious of the real state of affairs, and rose 
impatiently as if to free himsolf from the vision. 

' A flirt, only a flirt, simulating what she cannot feel, 
merely to attract.' 

It is to be presumed that the * she ' thus alluded to 
was the lady whose letter he still held. But that is really 
too hard on Mrs. Meltham, who had never deserved such a 
reputation, much less from a stranger. 

He went down to Tramore a few days after, rather for 
the sake of the distraction than the business. The first 
person he met there was Charlie Devereux. 

' You down here ? ' he exclaimed, as Charlie greeted 
him. It was the first time they had met since that stormy 
passage in the chambers. Still if Charlie was willing to 
forget it he was. 

4 So are you,' was Charlie's Jesuitical rejoinder. 
* Where do you put up ? ' 

4 Anywhere.' 

4 Better come to my place, Miss Bay ley's boarding- 


( I'm not come to stay ; I almost think a hotel would be 
better. There's Brady's.' 

' Very well. Dine with me this evening. Our cuisine 
is not at all despicable.' 

Mr. Blennerhasset assented for want of an excuse. 
When they met in the evening, Charlie, hypocrite Charlie, 
mentioned casually that he was acquainted with Mrs. 
Meltham, and on such a feeler being thrown out, Blenner- 
hasset could not do less than acknowledge that he was 
come down on business to that lady. When he reached 
the villa with the bay windows next morning, he was 
therefore not surprised to see Charlie quite at home in the 
drawing-room, chatting familiarly with the widow, who 
rose graciously to receive the celebrated lawyer. 

' I am almost ashamed to have troubled you on such a 
little matter, Mr. Blennerhasset,' she said, with a charming 
smile. * Allow me to introduce ' 

* No need,' interrupted Charlie ; * we are none of us 
strangers. I believe I need not introduce you to Miss 
L'Estrange, Blennerhasset.' 

The shock was so sudden, so unexpected, that Blenner- 
hasset might well be pardoned had he for once forfeited his 
character for imperturbability. For a second it seemed as 
if he would, as his eye turned on the slight, drooping 
figure, the beseeching eyes — turned in spite of him, in 
fact. But in an instant he was self-controlled as ever, 
with glances for nothing that he did not choose to see. 
He bowed with perfect politeness, and sitting down 
near the window, he addressed Mrs. Meltham on ordinary 

Kate had been reading to the widow when Mr. Deve- 
reux had been announced. She still held the book in her 

Charlie's experiment. 167 

hand when Blennerhasset came. Mute, and still, and 
motionless she had sat, waiting for her doom. 

And it had come ; it was there. Indifference. That 
was her portion. 

Perhaps in all her imaginings a supposition of this 
had least crossed her mind. Passionate reproaches, stern 
condemnation, she had prepared for, but not this cold, 
placid look that told her plainer than words that she was 
nothing, must ever be nothing to him. With the speed of 
lightning a conviction flashed through her brain that it 
had all been a delusion ; whether on her side or his, she 
could not tell; it might be on both, that he had never 
loved her. 

* Miss L'Estrange, will you be good enough to give me 
those documents you will find in my bureau ? ' the widow 

Kate rose mechanically and left the room, the old 
pain at her heart, the old dull, dead white upon her face. 
Going up the stairs and coming down she could only think 
that all the sweet dreams she had dreamt in her loneliness, 
wherewith she had thought to solace the coming years, 
were but the idle fantasies of her own imagination ; that, 
such as they were, they were dispelled for ever; they 
could never come again. 

She met Charlie at the foot of the staircase. He 
looked into her face, and the look that he saw there he 
never forgot. Instinctively he took the documents she held 
in her hand, and brought them to Mrs. Meltham himself. 
When he came out again Kate was gone. He knew this 
was the hour for the morning perambulations of the 
unhappy West Indians, and thinking she might have gone 


down to the beach to join them, he strolled that way. 
Why he did so. he conld not say, except that he wished, if 
only by his presence, to comfort her. 



A month passed, and Mr. Blennerhasset had been more 
than once down to Tramore, but without any change in 
the relations existing between Kate and himself. 

'He has had long enough,' decided Charlie Devereux ; 
and he no longer sought to spin out the business that 
brought the Dublin lawyer to the pretty seaside town, or to 
furnish pretexts for securing Kate's presence when he 
knew Blennerhasset would be going to the villa with the 
bay windows, or to absent himself from the house for days 

It came upon the lonely gir llike a thunder-clap, this 
sudden generous love of a gallant heart, and she could 
hardly believe ifc. When she would have spoken he 
refused to hear her until she had given the subject some 
consideration ; a week at least, he said. He thought that 
time might weaken the resolution he saw in her face. It 
did not, however, it only strengthened it. 

That week was spent in involuntary remembrances and 
comparisons that would come, of coldness and distrust on 
one hand, and perfect confidence on the other ; of the 
one rendered freely, and the blind obedience the 


other exacted in return for a very patronising sort of affec- 
tion, that after all had been only Brummagen ware, not 
even the real article, such as it was. Perhaps no one who 
has not experienced an equal if not a like mortification to 
that of a wasted heart can comprehend the revulsion of 
feeling that came with the conviction that she was prized 
by a man good and true. 

Who shall count the tears of sweetness unutterable, of 
bitterness unfathomable, that nurtured a decision she 
would never have had the courage to make in the old days 
when she had Jenny and Miss Ingram to lean against? 
Somehow with the necessity for standing alone had come 
the strength, and she faced calmly a future in which she 
could not see one solitary gleam of light nearer than that 
great horizon of immortality that had as yet but a dim, 
faint glow to her young heart. 

' This your final answer ?' 

He was leaning on the stile that barred her progress, and 
there was a nervous movement of the slender brown hand 
on the broad hat he had taken from his head. Beyond the 
stile lay the broad beach upon which the restless sea 
rolled as monotonously and regularly as though there 
were no human hearts beating out of time ; as though 
there were no slumbering tempests in its own fathomless 
bosom that should rush out in foam-tipped waves and low 
mutterings by-and-by, and satiate its passion with the 
death- song of many a goodly vessel. Inside the low 
wall the field was green, the grass was soft and thick 
and luxuriant, the sand and shells lay on the other side 
of the boundary, heaped up against it in many places. 
On the grassy side stood Mrs. Meltham's governess. 

"Yes, Mr. Devereux.' 


' I knew you couldn't care for a great rough fellow 
like me/ he said, with stern humility. 

' Hush, oh, hush !' she said, with such a thrill of pain 
in her voice that he had to pause. * Do not speak like 
that, and above all to me.' 

* Perhaps you think I want to ferret out your secrets ? 
I do not; I want to know nothing.' 

* I did not think that,' she said, with a smile beauti- 
ful in its confidence. * I knew you would not ask me a 
single question; that though I never spoke, you would 
trust me to my dying day.' 

« And yet ' 

* And yet I shall never marry, but ' 

« But what ? ' 

* I should like you to trust me still, if you think you 

* I could not do otherwise. Oh, I have been mad — 
blind, giving you pain where I meant to give comfort ; 
but I shall never be so mad or so blind as to distrust 
ycu. Forget my folly, and only remember that I am 
your protector till you get a better; your brother and 
Mend always.' 

She knew what he thought, but she had not the 
moral courage to set him right. She had always been a 
shrinking coward, and she was one now. Perhaps it 
was better so, perhaps he would be more likely to forget 
her and her troubles if he nourished the delusion that she 
still loved Rohan Blennerhasset. And yet she would have 
liked him to see that she was not bo insensible to goodness 
and devotion ; but she could not. It was beyond her : 
had her life depended upon it she could not have explained. 

4 Always, always your Mend and brother,' he repeated. 


She smiled faintly through the tears that rained so 
freely now, conscious of nothing but the comfort of his 
words, as she gave him her hand to seal the compact. Then 
he let her pass through the turnstile, and watched her out 
of sight under the heavy night shadow of the thick larches. 

* She loves him still,' he muttered, and he passed his 
hands across his brow as if to clear away the doubts that 
kept him from solving a mighty problem. 



Stitching away as if for dear life, Miss Joice did not 
hear the step on the stairs until a knock startled her. It 
was Mr. Dalzell in travelling coat and very muddy boots. 

' You bring news, sir ? ' and the work was put down, 
and the black eyes fixed searchingly on his face with a 
strange intentness. 

' Yes.' 

< Not bad ? ' 

* No, no,' he said hurriedly, to reassure her. * I am only 
a little puzzled.' 

* You have found Kate ? ' 
' Yes.' 

' And she is well ? ' 

* Yes.' 

He sat down, and she waited patiently for a time. At 
last she asked, 

* If Kate is well, what is wrong ? ' 


* I don't know ; that's what I want to consult you about. 
I have seen your friend, and she is well ; but she gained 
from me a solemn promise not to indicate her whereabouts 
to anyone. I got her at last to make an exception in your 
favour. I believe the argument I used was that I must 
share the secret with some one.' 

* She did not forbid you to tell Miss Ingram ? ' 
'Most particularly.' 

The black eyes opened wide now. 

* I must see her.' 

* That was just what I was about to propose,' he said 

' How does she look ? ' 
' Unhappy, I fancy.' 

* Poor child ! Oh, tell me where she is, Mr. Dalzell. 
You don't know how happy you have, made me.' 

* I'll tell you on condition that you don't run away 
without me.' 

' Oh, how could I be so ungrateful ? Don't tell me if 
you think that.' 

* Don't say ungrateful, child. I don't like the word ; 
say it wouldn't be kind,' he said, with a smile whose 
patient melancholy shadow she did not see. And yet it was 
plain enough, Heaven knows, in that attic, that if bare and 
somewhat draughty was high up enough to catch the glory* 
of the sunset clouds, some of the free fresh air that never 
could penetrate down into the dingy street. ' Well, I don't 
think that. I don't imagine you would do anything that 
was not generous and loyal. Your friend is at Tramore ; 
and if you can start to-morrow or the next day, I will write 
to an old friend of mine, Miss Bayley, to have rooms ready 



' I'll set out to-morrow morning, and thank you all the 
same, sir, but you needn't trouble about the rooms. I'm 
used to looking out for myself, and — I have lots of money.' 

She spoke with more acerbity than she usually em- 
ployed towards Mr. Dalzell. 

4 1 daresay you have. You're just one of those big- 
hearted people who always have money, for others, at any 
rate, if not for themselves. But I want you to understand 
that, as you are about to take a journey to relieve me from 
a dilemma, I claim the right to direct your affairs.' 

' What nonsense ! As if I wouldn't go to Kate any- 
where and anyhow. No, no, Mr. Dalzell ; don't offer me 
charity — don't. I have two hands to work my way, and 
charity even from you would kill me/ 

The burning eyes, the flushed cheeks, attested the re- 
ality of her emotion, and gave startling significance to her 
words as she repeated 

* It would kill me. The very thought of it suffocates 

' I understand,' he said slowly. * You will not believe 
that the pleasure you would give me would be tenfold 
greater than any I could give you, and you shrink from 
accepting any help that would give me a happiness my 
money cannot purchase. Well, if you were to marry me, 
you could not feel it charity.' 

A sharp short laugh was Miss Joice's answer to this 

' If we are to be friends, Mr. Dalzell, you are not to 
make me a laughing-stock again,' she said, with the shrill 
imperiousness that awed the supers of the Theatre Royal. 
* I'll neither make myself or you ridiculous, that's flat* 
We'll remain as we are, or else enemies.' 


He sat silent, thinking what a very ridiculous thing he 
had done after all. No wonder for her to laugh that 
bitter, scornful laugh. It was very absurd to be sure. He 
was roused by the sharp, incisive tones. 

' I'll start in the morning, Mr. Dalzell.' 

* At least, Jenny, I must insist on writing to Miss 
Bayley. It is the best place you can stop at ; and remember, 
to have free intercourse with Kate you must be on visit- 
ing terms with Mrs. Meltham. That would be impossible, 
and would render matters awkward for your friend, if you 
place yourself in a subordinate position.' 

'Yes,' she said slowly. 'It might be awkward for 
Kate, though she'd never think of that. I see ; but how, 
even with your recommendation, am I to keep up the 
charaoter of a lady P I told you I'm no good at make- 

* Only be yourself, and you will be all that is necessary,' 
he said, delighted to have won her round so far. * I shall 
go and write at once,' he added hastily ; * before the post 

'And before I rescind my promise, eh? No, don't 
be afraid ; I'll not mar your good intentions this time. You 
see, for my precious lady-bird, to save her annoyance of 
any kind, I can even stoop to act a sham, and pass myself 
off on those fine people as a reajl lady.' 

' And you are one.' 

' No, sir ; with only the feelings, and tastes, and de- 
sires of one — worse luck for myself — with all these, only a 
counterfeit, a miserable mockery ; and so any man of the 
world would tell you in five minutes who knew my daily 

'How much she can love,' was Robert DalzelTs re- 


flection, as he wound his way down the narrow steep stairs, 
that broadened a little at the bottom, emerging in the 
dingy street, whose sights and sounds and clamour 
affected him no more than if he had been fifty miles away, 
f What a wealth of affection she showers on a girl who has 
once been her companion. What a rich, grand nature it 
is ; one in which a tiny share is to be coveted. Oh, how 
bountiful is the great mother to some ; what a veritable 
step-dame to others. These two girls have such a mine of 
wealth between them that having only that they could 
never be poor. They will have each other, until they have 
somebody else, to live for; no hiatus in their existence, 
while mine is a blank with nothing before, nothing after, 
on this side of the grave. I am forty-three to-day, and I 
have not one in the wide world who would be the poorer 
if I dropped out of it to-morrow. My youth ! Oh, I gave 
it for what was not bread. I am rich now, and what good 
is it ? I am old, older than my years ; my hair is streaked 
with grey, my face is seamed with furrows, and my heart 
with bitter memories. The success has come too late.' 

Oh ! to how many does it not come too late P See 
yon millionaire, gouty and lonely and morose. Don't be 
too hard on his gloomy misanthropy. Had but a little 
pile from the heap of gold that is now his, but a little, very 
little, fallen to him thirty years ago, he might have 
married the tenderly-nurtured girl who emigrated to avoid 
starvation and died of the hardship. The success he 
toiled for day by day and night by night came, as it 
nearly always does to the spell of persistence like that; 
but it came too late. Don't envy him his money-bags. 
The grass is green on the old love's grave, but what's 
worse, the man's heart has grown hardened and tough. 


He has no family ties, no generous passion to extend 
happiness he never knew, nothing in the world but his 
money-bags. Let him have them. Don't be too hard on 
that proud woman, who puts down the sneers and frowns 
of the world with a scornful hand, and treads her own 
way in spite of them all. Had but a tiny portion of the 
success that is hers, but a breath of the praise and en- 
couragement they lavish on her corrupt philosophy now, 
had only a wee small glimmer of sympathy come to her 
when she wrote by the light of a halfpenny dip in a garret 
for a moral magazine, when she threw all the freshness of 
her youth into her writings, while she was yet capable of 
enjoying the fruits of her labour, while she could revel in 
the delights of social intercourse, conscious that she was 
neither old nor ugly nor repelling, she had not emerged 
into notice a hard embittered woman, whose railing accu- 
sations against a divinely ordained destiny are so many 
stumbling-blocks in the way of weaker travellers. 

But the man should not grow hardened, you will say. 
He should have preserved the greenness of his memories in 
spite of years of loneliness. He should have opened out 
his heart to the poor, and gladdened his own heart with 
the joy of others. He should have taken a delight in 
showering upon others what he might never actually taste 
himself, and be satisfied. The woman should not have 
grown bitter and rebellious. She should have reconciled 
herself to the wisdom of a decree beyond her understand- 
ing, that consigned her to loneliness, and gave others 
happy homes, and friends, and fortune, and consideration, 
and respect. Should not ? Great Heaven ! how many of 
us do the things we should? Is there a more finished 
satire in the whole English language on human nature 


than that one little word? I do not contend that that 
man was justified in shutting his heart to his fellow crea- 
tures because he himself was denied happiness, in refus- 
ing that which he might have had because he could not 
obtain that which he would. I only say that he was a 
man, with the faults and follies of his nature, and above 
which so few, so very few, can soar. I do not plead for 
the right of that woman to indulge in rebellion because 
her lot was exceptional. I only tell you that her lot was 
exceptional, her nature not; nothing but poor human 
nature like yours, if you would but own it. 

Yes, success had come to Robert Dalzell, but his youth 
was fled. There was something indescribably sad in his 
attitude as he paused for a moment, loth, perhaps, to, 
enter the busier thoroughfares. The sunset glory had 
faded out of the dingy street, if, indeed, it had ever reached 
so far down there ; the grey twilight enwrapped the lonely 
man, and he knew it. He felt it chilling him to the bone, 
for he knew he should not emerge from it to the light of 
a home fireside. It was not the shadow of a night that 
was settling down upon him, it was the shadow of a 



It might be thought from Miss Joice's prompt decision 
not to make herself ridiculous that she would not be 
likely to trouble herself much with a subject she had so 
cavalierly dismissed. 



Unfortunately it would not drop out of her life and be 
as though it had never been, this sentence against herself. 
It brought before her all the more forcibly how very absurd 
it would be for her ever to entertain any idea of a life 
different to that she now led, or to be the chief in any 
household larger than her own, composed of herself and 
her canary. It reminded her very painfully how very 
unattractive she was. It drew her by some unhappy fas- 
cination to a small glass with the seam across, before 
which she would stand in bitter mockery of herself and her 
power to please. It haunted her in the railway carriage, 
where the simple demand from the ticket porter for her 
ticket seemed an insolent sneer at her travelling first class, 
where the merest civilities of a fellow passenger seemed the 
most refined irony on her assumption of the style of ordinary 
womanhood. It required a look now and then at Robert 
DalzelVs grave dignified brow to assure her that the source 
of this bitterness towards herself was really charity, bene- 
volence, not a malevolent desire to draw her out for after 

* Any luggage, miss ? ' 

She stared at the man in a bewildered sort of way. 
She had been called miss before by her comrades, for 
politeness is practised to a degree amongst Irish arabs 
that would astonish many very elegant circles in England. 
But the officials of a railway station had always some 
strange connection with police, and for one of them to 
address her in this fashion seemed nothing at all short of 

'No, nothing,' Mr. Dalzell replied for her. 

' Cab, miss ? ' 

Mr. Dalzell had left her to secure a small carpet bag 


he had forgotten, and this time the speaker touched his 
hat. Instead of answering she looked slowly down at her 
dress. Could that be the cause of this deference ? 

She had profited by Mr. Dalzell' s hint so far as to pur- 
chase a very neat travelling costume of grey. Only for 
Kate would she have parted with the little black frock 
and scarlet ribbon that was never new and never very old, 
but always seemed the same. When she looked up tho 
cabman was gone, and she was tempted to believe the 
whole thing a dream. 

' Well, if ever a woman had such lodgers as I have/ 
was Miss Bay ley's soliloquy an hour afterwards. * If she's 
not a witch I'd swear she's own sister to one. Take care 
of her for a week ? I wonder in how many places at a 
time would Mr. Dalzell like me to be ? I only hope she 
won't throw the evil eye on the house. I'm blest — but 
there she's off again across the beach ; I wonder when 
she'll stop ? ' 

All that day — Mr. Dalzell being out — Miss Bayley was 
kept in a perpetual ferment by the strange vagaries of tho 
young lady whom she was to take care of. Now her 
notions of taking care of that species of animal just de- 
scribed was to keep her safely immured in a grim parlour, 
where there were no mirrors to tempt to an inordinate 
vanity, no easy chairs to induce habits of idleness, no 
flowery fantasies on the walls to lead the thoughts astray 
from the stern lines of marble block pattern. But as 
Miss Joice did not take to the cage of her own free will, 
Miss Bayley was sorely puzzled how to get her into it ; 
whether to wheedle her with sugary lures, or take her 
by the shoulders and thrust her bodily into her proper 
place, not to mention passing doubts as to keeping her 

n 2 


there. After a day of this martyrdom she resolved upon 
taking the elf to task. 

* When I was a young girl, Miss Joice,' she began 
sharply, ' it was not the custom for young ladies to run 
about like wild cats, here now, there again.' 

* What a long time ago that must have been. Fashions- 
have changed since then, I'm sure.' 

* Perhaps they have, but not for the better.' 

* Well, that's a matter of taste. But what put it into 
your head to call me a young lady ? ' 

'Upon my word I don't know, except politeness. 
You'd do for the grandmother just as well as Red Riding* 
Hood. What are you ? ' 

* I hardly know what I am now,' and the elf's voice 
took a strangely plaintive tone, 'but I know I was a 
woman years and years ago. Whether I have grown 
young or am in my second childhood I don't know.' 

* And I'm blest if anyone else does. Perhaps you'd like 
a book.' 

' No ; still if it's the proper thing to do I'll sit still, 
only it must be out in the sun, if you please. I feel so 
much better there, and I'm always good when I'm happy.* 

Miss Bayley placed her in a garden chair full in view of 
the pantry window. There Jenny sat for a time ; but there 
was that in her aspect that did not permit Miss Bayley to 
feel at all sure that she would not disappear at any 
moment, and leave her to answer all Mr. Dalzell's in- 
quiries. Jenny was, in fact, wondering why she was not 
to go in and out, and use her eyes and her feet to some 
purpose ; at the same time, if this restraint was necessary 
not to compromise Kate, she would submit to it. Then 
her thought strayed or rather reverted to the trouble that 


had been so sorely brought home to her of late. The 
clang of the dinner bell startled her, and Miss Bayley, who 
had that moment come to have an eye on her, as she ex- 
pressed it, saw her suddenly start away at full speed, it 
might be to the town, it might be right into the sea, or 
it might be just round to the front entrance. A tiny 
figure flying up the stairs somewhat reassured her ; but 
then how long would she stay up there ? One comfort, Mr. 
Dalzell had said he would be back to dinner at the latest, 
and then she would wash her hands of all responsibility. 

Jenny's room was a pretty, airy apartment facing the 
sea. It had white hangings edged with knitted fringe, and 
lacy curtains, as had every bedroom in the house, and these 
same lacy curtains and knitted fringes were the pride of 
Miss Bayley's heart. It had also a tall mirror, and to this 
Jenny went straight, after flinging the window wide open, 
and peered into its depths as though her sole business had 
been to examine it. 

A little pinched nose, two great staring black eyes, a 
gaunt, sallow face without a bit of colour, a queer little 
mouth with pale lips, and black hair that fell in heavy 
damp masses now. 

c Oh, how ugly I am.' 

The tears rained down as she stood there till the image 
in the glass was blotted from her view, and still she uttered 
that exceeding bitter cry coming from a woman's heart — - 

' 0, how ugly, how ugly I am.' 

Who prates about beauty being only skin deep ? I tell 
you it is one of the greatest and most glorious gifts of tbo 
Deity to man. Heaven help the woman who has not, or 
cannot fancy she has, some little share of it. I say fancy, 
because it sometimes creates it. 


She stood there till the second bell sounded. She had 
no toilet to make, no tiling to do but to brash her hair into 
a fiercely shining smoothness, and then rub her eyes dry 
savagely as she demanded who would look at her to see if 
her eyes were red or not. 

There were not more than half-a-dozen people in the 
room when she entered. She looked at them with the in- 
solence a great misery gives some women. Their judgment 
could be nothing to her, for she had already condemned 
herself, and they immediately set her down as a West 
Indian heiress. So much for humility. Mr. Dalzell came 
towards her. 

' We are to call on Mrs. Meltham to-morrow/ he whis- 
pered. 'Your friend expects you, and Mrs. Meltham is 
aware of it, so that there will be no necessity for secrecy.' 

She smiled, and the expression of joy transformed her 
into something so radiant that Miss Bayley was more 
puzzled than ever. ' Is she a woman, or a child, or a 
witch ? Which is it ? * she pondered. ' A little of all 
three, I'm thinking.' 

* How can I thank you, sir ? ' 

c No, don't, Jenny,' he said, passing his hand through 
his grey locks with a weary sigh. 

' Oh, you don't know what you have done in giving me 
back my Kate. You have made me happy, so happy.' 

She did not exaggerate. The present overtopped past 
and future, as it frequently does in a nature like hers, else 
how should ardent, passionate souls drag out their span ? 
Their threads of light are sometimes so few and far be- 
tween, if they could not ignore the surrounding blackness 
they would be incapable of wresting hope and courage 
from these transient gleams. The prospect of seeing her 


friend, of fathoming the new trouble that had come over 
her, shut out the face of that cruel mirror upstairs. 

* Oh, my dear, my dear, have I found you at last ? ' she 
said, when she found herself out in the trim garden with 
Kate. ' Why did you leave me ? What was it ? How 
was it P * 

* Ah ! Jenny, I did it for the best.' 

* Of course you did, but it was a very bad best all the 
same. To think that you shouldn't trust me.' 

* Oh, Jenny, don't say that. You don't mean it. Not 
trust you ! ' 

* What am I to mean, then ? ' 

* That I thought by coming away from you all to save 
you trouble.' 

'As if any trouble or annoyance could be equal to 
anxiety about you. Don't be so considerate again, my 
dear, unless you want to kill me. Now tell me your 
trouble, that is if you think it will comfort you to confide 
in me.' 

' Jenny, I have but you in the world ; don't be cross 
with me.' 

* And who have I but you ? There's the trouble, for 
how will it be when you are married ? I have the worst 
of the bargain.' 

* I shall never marry, Jenny.' 

* Do you mean to say you're going to forbid my letting 
Mr. Blennerhasset know where you are ? ' 

4 It's not needful, dear. He knew long ago.' 

'He knew?' 


' And he came to you ? ' 

' Yes.' 


The gleaming dark eyes were dilated as the little 
creature whispered breathlessly — 

•And it is all right?' 

'Yes, it is all right. We are still all in all to each 
other, yon and L' 

* Why ? Oh, my dear, why ? I thought he loved you.' 
'I thought so, too, once. Perhaps he did after a 

fashion of his own ; but I was not fitted to retain that 
liking. It is better as it is.' 

Jenny was too stunned to reply. They walked np and 
down the broad trim walk, conscious that every movement 
was visible to those in the drawing-room. 

' Tell me everything now, Kate.' 

' I had better begin with why I left Ingram.' 

« Yes.' 

Half an hour passed in earnest conversation ; explana- 
tion and deprecation on Kate's side, scolding and admi- 
ration very queerly mixed on Jenny's. 

' Then you had no quarrel with that man ? ' 

* No ; but don't speak slightingly of him.' 

'No, of course not. I wonder what he suspected 
yen of?' 

* Nothing but secrecy, I think. That was bad enough 
in his eyes.' 

' Oh, dear, oh, dear. And to think she should love this 

* Why ?— Eh ?— Yes, it's Jenny.' 

Miss Joice turned sharply round, and confronted Mr. 

* How do you do, Miss Joice ? ' he said, holding out his 

* I am glad to see you, Mr. Devereux,' she said, with a 


frank confidence he had never noticed before. ' You see I 
have found Kate without your help.' 

* And I am heartily glad of it,' he responded. * I dared 
not let you know, but I was always hoping you'd come.' 

They entered the drawing-room together, and Mrs. 
Meltham placed Jenny in a chair where the light would 
fall full on her, and where she would be able to examine 
her thoroughly. 

* Pray, Mr. Dalzell, do you ever take your ward as a 
model ? ' she asked of the celebrated painter, who in all 
guilelessness had led her to suppose that Jenny was an 
heiress, and he her guardian, by simply offering no explana- 
tion of her presence with him. 

' Not exactly. I have taken the liberty of introducing 
her face into one of my paintings.' 
Jenny turned round upon him. 
1 What did you do that for, Mr. Dalzell ? ' 
' I wanted your likeness.' 
' Oh, I thought it was to point a moral or adorn a tale.' 

* Then you were not aware of acting as model,' said 
Mrs. Meltham. 

' No.' 

* Perhaps I have led to awkward disclosures.' 

( Not at all,' said Jenny, almost arrogantly, as she sur- 
veyed the fishy eyes that twinkled over the prospect of 
drawing her out. 'Mr. Dalzell is just the one person 
privileged to make me as ridiculous as he likes. I wouldn't 
advise anyone else to try it.' 

* How rich she must be to talk so insolently/ was Mrs. 
Meltham's envious reflection. 'I hope I shall have the 
pleasure of seeing you often during your stay here, Miss 


* Yes, you may rest easy on that score, if it's any plea- 
sure to yon. I shall want to see Elate pretty often,' was? 
the not very civil reply. Some subtle instinct told her that 
this woman, who now smiled so sweetly at her impertin- 
ences, would have trampled her without mercy had she 
only an idea of who she was. The very suspicion stimu- 
lated Jenny to see how much she would suffer from her. 

' I shall like to see how much insolence you will bear 
from me. How you will look when you discover who it is 
that bearded you in your den,' was the reflection that gave 
such a mocking mirth to her eye, such scathing bitterness, 
to her tongue. 



' You have not succeeded in inducing Miss L'Estrange to 
communicate with my cousin ? ' 

' No, Mr. Devereux,' said Jenny, sadly. * It is utterly 
impossible. It would drive her to seek fresh shelter, she 
says, and — I am disposed to agree with her.' 

' You are ? ' be exclaimed in surprise. 

* Yes,' and still she spoke in the same very sad tone. 
' I do not see how it can be otherwise ; but it is very hard.* 

* What is ? ' 

* That some must sacrifice themselves to others.' 

* But why, why must it be so ? ' he asked, eagerly. 
' Because I do not see how it can be helped.' 


They paced the beach, firm and hard after the receding 

' What will you say to my cousin, Jenny ? ' 
' What could I say ? I cannot face her.' 
' You will stay here, then ? ' 

* I'm not sure ; but wherever Kate is I must be near 

* I wish — it's a comfort to me to talk the thing over to 
you. May I ? 

' Of course you may, Mr. Devereux. I don't say that 
it won't be a comfort to me too.' 

* Well, then, could we devise any scheme by which Miss 
L'Estrange might be restored to her former position at 
Ingram ? It fe desirable for many reasons.' 

' None,' said Miss Joice ; ' but, Mr. Devereux, don't 
think ill of Kate for that. If you do, you will never 
forgive yourself.' 

' There is no danger, Jenny. I know Kate, although I 
don't know much about her.' 

' How I hate that man,' she exclaimed, a little irrele- 
vantly it would* seem, yet he understood her perfectly. 

' Don't say that,' he said very gravely. * I believe, 
I hope he is an honourable man. It is his haughty 
temperament that causes him to seem unjust.' 

* Oh ! ' 

* Don't form a bad opinion of him till you know him 

* That will be never. I know him as well as I want to. 
I did not know that he was your friend.' 

' Not my friend so much as your friend's friend. That 
is why I would not have you disparage him.' 


* It is all over between them,' she said sharply, though 
there was interrogation in the tones. 

c I hope not.' 

* Why do you hope so ? ' she demanded angrily. * He 
is not worthy of her. He is unjust, unreasonable, sus- 

' No, he is not worthy of her,' he said, with sudden 
passion. ' He is unjust, unreasonable, suspicious, cruelly 
so ; but what of that ? she loves him, therefore he is better 
than all the world to her.' 

* She could not love him, believing all that ? ' 

' And how would you make her believe it, and to what 
end would you if you could ? To tell her of his perfidy 
would but break her heart.' 

* You are wrong, I tell you.' 

' Oh, I have not made my experiments for nothing. She 
loves him, and it rests with him to make her happy. Evil 
betide him if he does not.' 

* What <Jo you mean, Mr. Devereux ? ' she asked, and 
there was something of fear in her tone. 

' I mean this, that if he sports with her happiness, if 
he renders her miserable, I will show that these things, 
though beyond the law, are not to be done with impunity,* 
he answered fiercely. 

She quailed before the demon of wrath she had a 
moment before been anxious to raise. 

* You would not do anything rash ? If only for Kate's 

* Be easy ; I shall always think of her. Is not that why 
I cautioned you against disparaging him to her? Oh, 
Jenny, it would all be right if we could get her back to 


Ingram, for as the matter stands, he is suspicious, he is 
distrustful, but yet he is everything good to her.' 

They walked on in silence for a time, turning to and: 
fro so as never to wander very far from Miss Bayley's 
establishment. She did not interrupt his moody medita- 
tions, till suddenly he addressed her. 

* It's funny, isn't it, that you should be the one to whom 
I turn for comfort in my trouble ? ' 

* Yes, it is strange,' she said, humbly. 

1 1 don't know why, or what claim I have upon you, 
except that you seem best able to understand my wants. 
Or it is the truth — yes, it is the truth of your nature 
that attracts me ; and yet I should like to feel that I had 
some right to burden you with my worries and vexations, 
that you would let me regard you as a friend.' 

i You have that right already,' she said ; ' it will be as 
great a boon to me as it can be to you.' 

'And you will help me to be str6ng as you helped 
Flossy long ago. You will aid me to act a man's part, to 
do the best possible for one whose life happiness may be 
wrecked by a chance word.' 

' At least I will put no more stumbling-blocks in your 
way,' she replied, and a flood of pity looked out of the dark 
eyes that had watched him in the cholera ward. A great 
deal of that pity was for him, a great deal for Kate, blind 
Kate, but there was a little for herself, for the witch who 
would never have the chance of throwing away such a 
noble heart, but none, no, not a particle, for that man who 
watched the earnest talkers from Miss Bayley's sitting- 




Mrs. Meltham was not a little startled one fine mornings 
to see a four-horse post-chaise draw up at her door with 
a jerk that sent the steaming animals almost on their 
haunches. As she was not dressed she could not go down 
without some delay, and Miss L'Estrange, who was already 
in the dining-room, had all the advantage. 

A gentleman alighted from the chaise ere it was well 
stopped, and walked up the gravelled walk with a step that 
crunched the pebbles into powder, and after knocking 
loudly pushed open the door himself. At the same moment 
another dashed up in a cab, and confronted the first comer 
in the hall. 

4 You here ? Why I only this moment got your tele- 
gram,' he exclaimed, breathlessly. 

' I came express ; I want to see Miss L'Estrange at 
once,' added Mr. Blenncrhasset to the servant. 'Where 
is she ? ' 

The man, too bewildered for speech, opened the door of 
the breakfast-room. , 

* First,' said Charlie Devereux, ' what does it all 
mean ? ' 

' I'll tell you together ;' and he strode into the dining- 
room, slamming the door as soon as Charlie was in. He 
then turned towards Miss L'Estrange. She had risen, and 
came to meet them, her eyes deeper, her face paler, with a 
prescience of coming evil. For the first time hesitation 


was visible in Mr. Blennerhasset's manner ; he paused, 
because be really did not know bow to begin. She was 
the first to speak. 

' Something has happened, Mr. Blennerhasset ? ' 

1 Yes, explain,' said Charlie impatiently. l This is all 
I know about the business,' and he handed a crumpled 
paper to Kate. It was evidently a telegram, and consisted 
of a few words— 

i Get your friend away at once. Lose not a moment. 
It. B. 

Kate quietly folded the paper that passionate Charlie 
had so sadly crushed, and at last IJlennerhasset spoke, his 
voice growing more firm, more lawyer-like as he proceeded. 

' The detectives are even now on their way here. The 
affair at Ingram has been discovered.' 

She did not know what his words meant, but; she knew 
that to her they might mean anything. Therefore it was 
that her voice failed her, that lip and cheek and brow took 
that ashen hue they fcell us is the livery of guilt. Finding 
she made no comment, Blennerhasset went on — 

' They will be here very soon, but there is a post-chaise. 
Come at once.' 

* What is it ? ' she managed to whisper. 

There was compassion as well as sternness in his tone 
as he asked, 

* Must I explain ? ' 
' Yes.' 

* Lady Devereux accused a servant at Ingram of having 
stolen her diamond bracelet. The girl to save herself has 
implicated you.' 

* And you dare to repeat such an insult ? ' interposed 
Charlie. Blennerhasset glanoed at him, then turned to 


4 Miss L'Estrange, I am a lawyer. I am accustomed to 
deal with desperate cases. Will you tell me, before Mr. 
Devereux, who is so willing to saddle me with gratuitous 
suspicion, whether I would have even a shadow of right to 
defend you ? ' 

She cowered at the thought of that stooping form that 
like a flash came before her. And an innocent woman had 
been suffering all this time. A shiver was her only reply 
to the lawyer's question. 

' Then as you do not think you can face inquiry, there 
is no better plan than the one I have formed for your 

' Oh ! Mr. Blennerhasset,' she exclaimed suddenly, in 
tones of heart-broken agony that he never forgot, c what 
have I done for the time you have known me, what has 
been my conduct, that you should put this theft upon me ? 
Oh, you are very suspicious.' 

' I only judge you by your own words, your own acts.' 

' True, true,' and she shivered under the pity and con- 
demnation of his tone. 

* But I don't judge you by your words,' and stern and 
calm Charlie Devereux stood by her side ; ' nor by acta, 
save those I understand. I judge you by yourself, and I 
will stand by you now and always in the face of the world.' 

' Will you tell me to maintain your innocence ? ' de- 
manded Blennerhasset, almost passionately. 

' I cannot,' she moaned. ' No innocent person must 
suffer through me. My lot has come to me; I must 
accept it.' 

' Do you accuse me still ? ' and he turned to Charlie. 
* You hear these words ? ' 

' Yes, I hear,' said Charlie passionately, ' and I tell you 


that if my eyes had seen her do the act I would still dis- 
believe my senses, and believe only in her.' 

Even in that hour of supreme misery she smiled the 
gratitude of a broken heart that thrilled to the voice of so 
gallant a defender. It was a smile Charlie never forgot, 
never wished to see again on any human face— a smile that 
wrung his heart to the core by its sublime resignation. 

' I am ready, but not to escape,' she said, rising and 
addressing Mr. Blennerhasset. ' I will await the police 

' You are mad ! ' he exclaimed, moved out of all the 
usual grooves of retributive justice by the sight of the sad, 
suffering face. ' You must go. I have arranged every- 
thing. You cannot, no, you cannot face a common prison.' 

' At the same time any risk in this affair must be mine,' 
said Charlie Devereux, in a tone of calm decision. But 
Kate shook her head in the weary fashion of long ago, and 
fixed her sad eyes on the lawyer. 

* You will understand, Mr. Blennerhasset, you, who are 
so just, that another must not suffer in my stead. I will 
remain and make what reparation I can.' 

' No, no, you must go. Perhaps it is not just, but I 
cannot help it.' 

' It is hardly just that you should have to act the 
part of a fugitive even for a time,' said Charlie ; ' but you 
must yield to circumstances. Blennerhasset, I do not 
scruple to use your post-chaise, but you understand that 
you are in no way compromised — no, I will not suffer it. 
On me the blame or the glory.' 

' It is too late, gentlemen,' said a detective, throwing 
open the folding-door between the two rooms. ' I arrest 
Kate L'Estrange on a charge of theft.' 

VOL. II. o 




The round tower near the brickfield at Dromore was still 
tenanted by Balfe. It was a place subject to periodical 
visits from the police, and therefore the safest place in 
Dromore. Balfe somehow had a clinging regard for the 
crazy building, and never failed to return to it$ though 
what its attraction might be few could tell. 

Perhaps it was its loneliness. Perhaps it was some 
relief to this man, who was very bad, and who knew that 
he might have been very good, to sit away from those who 
would never be as bad as he was any more than they would 
rise to the goodness he might have attained. Perhaps 
their puny sins and petty meannesses chafed his spirit, and 
seemed to him a very little to secure for the condemnation 
that he never doubted would follow, and he despised their 
craven hopes of a Heaven they would not seek, their fears 
of a hell they did not scruple to earn. 

Perhaps the lonely ground-floor had its associations. 
Perhaps in the steady glare of the sods of turf he heaped 
upon the hearth he saw a pale, patient face. Certain it 
was that he never sat brooding long till his thoughts 
reverted to a time long ago, when a child's sweet eyes and 
plaintive voice had pierced the hate in which he had steeled 
his heart, and made a breach in his vow of revenge that be 
had never been able to make good since. Then upon the 
face of the child came the age in youth that he had brought 
there. Yes, he. Was it not well ? Was it not part of his 


plan ? Why should it strike him painfully now ? Was it 
because she had been so good to him ? Ah ! that wa3 it. 
But what right had she to be good to him, to render a 
daughter's love in return for demoniac hate, to wind her- 
self round him so as to rob him of the sweetness of his 
revenge ? Who had taught her ? 

Yes, that was the burden of his song, day and night ; 
who had taught her ? It was the echo of his complaint 
against the innate goodness he had never foreseen ; and 
even while he demanded by what right she had robbed 
him of his revenge, he knew that he was craving still 
to have her for his daughter, his very own. No, he 
could not give her up to his enemy. Not yet. He must 
for a little longer feel that he can call her daughter, even 
though it is a fiction transparent to both of them. Some- 
thing might happen. Lord Ingram might die. Kate could 
then be righted. She would be lost to him a little more 
than she was now, but she would not be given to another. 

More than ever was she in his thoughts since that last 
visit to Ingram. 

* Keep the secret still,' she had said, * if only for that 
poor old man's sake. I know you have been sinned against 
as well as sinning. I am content to have you for a father 
still ; I will always think of you as such if you will spare 
him this last humiliation to his grey hairs.' 

'Oh, if I could only restore her without gladdening 
him, how soon I would do it,' he muttered savagely ; c but 
I can't, just because it would kill her to think she was a 
disgrace to him. And yet she bears it patiently enough 
when it comes only on her. Who taught her ? ' 

His eye fell on a damp packet. It was the 'Evening Mail, 
dropped there by the lithe gossoon whose business it was 

o 2 


that Balfe should have his news first. He generally knew the 
items before they were seized by hungry reporters, but it 
occasionally amused him to see their versions, and now and 
then proved instructive. Since he had had his arm shat- 
tered in an encounter with the Dublin police, he had found 
it very necessary to be informed not only of facts, but how 
these facts were viewed. A paragraph with a great many 
capitals attracted his attention. 

' It is not a little astonishing to find that the daring theft 
of Lady Devereux's diamond bracelet, hitherto laid to the 
charge of Balfe the robber, has in reality been committed 
by a young lady known as Elate L'Estrange, and who is 
now in custody. The prisoner, when brought before the 
magistrate, refused to give any explanation, and she awaits 
her trial in gaol, Mr. Carsons refusing to accept bail.' 

What had caused Lady Devereux to break the promise 
she had given, a promise on which he had calculated, 
though he had not heard it with his ears ? Was it that 
her dread of this girl who had taken her son's heart, who 
had drawn him to Tramore, was greater than her pity? 
He had not thought of that, and yet why did he shrink 
from the picture of his enemy's daughter in a gaol ? Was 
it not the place He had destined for her ? But even as he 
uttered the savage thought there came the touch of that 
pitying hand on him, even on him, the sound of that 
plaintive voice in his ears : 

' Poor father. Yes, I will call you father, if you wish 
it. Who am I that I should judge you ? You have sinned, 
but you have also suffered.' 

No, no, no ; she was not Lord Ingram's daughter ; she 
was the child he had reared. 

He flung the paper from him, and strode out. He did 


not heed the crackling turf, the draughty door that swung 
as of old on its hinges, as he went forth never to return. 
What though the flare of the burning of the one haunt, 
never desecrated since the Otter's death by the companion- 
ship of a human being, coloured the murky sky ; he never 
turned to look, he never came to gaze on its blackened 

The telegraph clerks were used to strange visitors, used 
to see queer things without allowing any mark of surprise 
to disfigure their immaculate conception and realisation of 
insouciance. Yet somehow they found themselves looking 
with something like interest at the tall stern man who 
wore his right arm in a sling, whose heavy great-coat 
would have been respectable on anyone else, but whoso 
eyes glared so villainously that the best bred clerk there 
felt constrained to put on an appearance of that vulgar 
article, politeness. Perhaps, too, they looked a little 
curiously at the message addressed to Lord Ingram, the 
proudest man in all Ireland. It ran as follows : — 

'I promised to restore you your daughter when her 
education was finished. The time has come. Be at the 
Red Lion, Sandimount Road, at nine to-morrow.' 

Leaving the telegraph office he visited the various re- 
sorts. At each place he gave some instructions as though 
he were going on a long journey, a thing of no infrequent 
occurrence. It was his absence down in the north that 
had prevented him hearing sooner of Kate. By the time 
this was accomplished, and a short sleep snatched at one of 
his haunts, it was time to set out for Sandimount Road. 

The old fever had returned of late, and whether from 
bad surgery or recent injuries his arm was excessively 
painful, and the close air of the place in which he had 


passed the chief portion of the night had almost stifled 

Life, strength, seemed to return to his veins as he 
breathed the fresh air again. It might be fever that lent 
him such sudden strength ; he did not heed or care ; he was 
bent on reaching a certain place, and he would do it. 

The Red Lion was a very respectable hostelry ; one of 
those places where Balfe the robber was known only by 
name. The man who stood behind the bar stared hard at 
the visitor who asked if Lord Ingram had arrived yet. It 
was not often such a tramp, so stern, so powerfully built, 
with such ferocity in his deep-set eyes, came openly to that 

' His lordship came just a while ago,' he answered after 
a moment. ' I say, my man, where are you going to ? ' 
and he put himself in the way. 

' What a precious lot of fools you all are,' said Balfe, 
scornfully; 'yourself and the flunkeys. D'ye think I'd 
have come so far without knowing how to get in ?' 

The master of the Red Lion was a tall, powerfully-built 
countryman, and he measured his strength with that of the 

1 That's the parlour, isn't it ' 

* Just so, and my missis don't have visitors of your sort 
there. You'll have to go where ye came from, unless ye're 
minded to tell your name and your business.' 

c My name and business ? ' echoed the tramp scorn- 
fully. * Much ye'd thank me if I did. Out of my way,' 
and as he spoke he put the man aside with his uninjured 
arm. ' Out of my way, I tell you. Little good ever befell 
them that crossed the path of Balfe the robber.' 

The burly countryman fell back and crossed himself as 


the tramp strode past. Then he went behind the counter 
and took down his gun. 

Opening the door of the best parlour, Balfe found him- 
self face to face with Lord Ingram. 

4 You are punctual, my lord.' 

For a moment they stood, each taking note of the other. 
Time had not dealt gently with either. The haughty aris- 
tocrat was bent and worn ; lines seamed his face as though 
he had been ever so lowly born ; his hair was no longer iron 
grey but white, his delicately chiselled features pinched. 
He still preserved the unalienable stamp of gentleman, but 
his pride of birth and place had vanished from his bearing as 
from his possessions. His personal pride was all that was 
left, and that rose in arms at sight of the man who had 
injured him so terribly ; a proud man yet, despite his 
sorrow, his blanched hair, his hollow cheeks, he faced his 
enemy, and all the hate of years leaped out into his eyes. 

The tramp was a worthy enemy, even of that proud 
peer. There was in his attitude, in his gloomy eyes, in his 
haggard face, a something utterly defiant and implacable, 
proclaiming him a sinner of no ordinary type. Magnifi- 
cently grand in his great woe, superbly scornful he stood 
with his wounded arm thrust in the sling, his chest heaving 
with all those emotions of hate and revenge that had stirred 
him for the last fifteen years, and which were now to be 
practically ejected. Ejected for what ? For the feeling a 
girl had inspired him with by the grandeur of her nature ; 
a feeling he could not explain except by fancying it was a 
mixture of remorse for wrong suffered by the innocent, and 
admiration for a great suffering bravely borne. There was 
a touch, ay, and not a narrow, but a broad and bold one 
of the heroic in the man, fallen, degraded as he was, and 


the thought of a weak girl suffering in his stead stirred all 
that was good within him. Lord Ingram was the first to 

* What do yon come for ? Good or evil ? ' 

The tramp langhed insolently. The sight of his enemy 
roused his passions beyond control. 

* Good or evil ? ' he repeated derisively. * Which do 
you expect ? Am I one of the aristocracy ? ' 

* Have you no mercy ? ' ejaculated the peer, with a sup- 
pressed groan. 

' Mercy ? Bah ! Isn't my blood too common to know- 
such a feeling ? Am I not one of the rabble, one of the 
base bora, incapable of good ; a thief not only bred but 
born, debased through all the generations that have gone 
before ? What good do you want from me ? Don't shrink 
or cringe or protest, my lord ; isn't it your own creed I'm. 
uttering, the creed you burnt into my flesh with the con- 
vict's brand, the creed my child's lost soul shrieks every 
hour of the day, of the night, from the hell it thrust her 
into ? ' 

Great drops stood on the pale forehead of the nobleman, 
and he put up his hands as if to shut out the horrid spec- 
tacle conjured by the frenzied words. 

' Don't,' he implored feebly. ' My sin has been great, 
but so is my punishment.' 

He sank in the chair and the tramp eyed him sternly. 
The pain of his fractured arm blanched his cheek, but like 
a giant he crushed his pain and gave no sign. Lord Ing- 
ram roused himself. 

' This is the day you promised me my daughter, this is 
the place appointed.' There was fear, pain, desire, as well 
as hate, in his voice. 


'Well I'll keep my word — if you desire it. But first 
you shall have your choice.' 

' If I desire it ? ' 

4 Before I give her up, you had better ponder, perhaps, 
on what her life with me has been, what she is likely to 
have imbibed, the little liking she can have learnt for you, 
your ways, or your sort.' 

* She is my daughter.' 

' She was convicted of burglary when she was fourteen. 
Think how she has graduated since. Think of her school, 
think of her teacher. ' 

* She is my daughter. Miserable child, to suffer for the 
sins of a father.' 

'My child suffered for mine, why not yours? But I 
have no desire to thrust her on you. She has no wish to 
come ; the life she has had these years suits her better than 
the one you would lead her.' 

' She is my daughter. She will come to me.' 

' What, debased and wretched ? ' 

' Debased, wretched, a thousand times ; is she not my 
daughter ? ' 

* You elaim her in spite of all ? Is your courage so- 
great that a daughter will compensate for disgrace ? ' 

* I have no courage. I am a poor broken old man, with 
nothing left but a craving for the touch of my child's hand, 
a sound of my child's voice before I die.' 

' Then come.' 




* And you suspected her, Mr. Blennerhasset, you suspected 
her ! ' exclaimed Miss Ingram passionately. She had hur- 
ried to town on receipt of a telegram from Jenny, and 
found the elf and the lawyer at her house in town. 

' You must own that circumstances were greatly against 
her,' he said quietly. 

* Don't talk to me of circumstances,' she interrupted, 
' but tell me that you are ready to go down on your knees, 
and ask pardon for every evil thought you have had of 
her. Do you want to know why she left Ingram so mys- 
teriously, why she avoided me in particular ? I will tell 
you. She had discovered that she was the lawful heiress 
of the house ; her motive was worthy of her, it was to leave 
me in possession, and to save her father what she thought 
would be the disgrace of owning her, her — to whom no- 
thing can cling but honour and nobleness.' 

Blennerhasset stood stupefied, stunned, as it seldom was 
his fortune to be. Scarcely less amazed Jenny rose from 
the low chair in which she had been resting wearily, for- 
getting fatigue in the excitement. 

* Oh, Miss Ingram ! ' she exclaimed, with tears in her 
eyes, ' Is it really true ? Is my Kate the true heiress ? ' 

' The true heiress, Jenny Joice, and who so fit to grace 
the station ? ' 

* Thanks to you,' returned Jenny enthusiastically. ' It 
was for this, then, you sought us out in the hospital, that 


you might make her by education and habit what she 
always was by nature, a perfect lady. Oh, Miss Ingram, 
it was a plan worthy of you, it was a grand scheme.' 

So this was what the plotting had been for, this was 
the conspiracy he had suspected and reasoned out to a 
most logical but most ignoble conclusion. Mr. Blenner- 
hasset was almost blinded by the astounding revelation. 
So much for reasoning. What a fool he had been. 

'And it will all come right now, will it not ? ' Jenny 
continued, anxiously. ' They cannot touch Lord Ingram's 
daughter, can they ? ' 

'It must come right,' said Miss Ingram, resolutely. 
'My hands are free now. That man declared, when I 
expressed my determination to restore her to her father 
without delay, that he would render me powerless, and 
he did. Lord Ingram gave me no courage to proceed in 
the face of such a threat. Each time I sounded him I 
found as much pride as sorrow, and so I waited on. Now 
I can wait no longer, and I am right glad of it. My uncle 
must receive his daughter without delay, and unless he 
is devoid of all sense, he will not associate her with dis- 
grace, were twenty charges preferred against her.' 

Rohan Blennerhasset paced the room up and down as 
if oblivious of his companions. At last he stopped before 
Miss Ingram. She had sunk on a low sofa. 

' Miss Ingram, would it be possible for you to forgive 
one who had misjudged you ? ' 

' I have done so long ago,' she said, not without bitter- 

' You detected my suspicions.' 

' Oh, yes, Mr. Blennerhasset, it did not need words 
to tell that you regarded me as the perfidious usurper of 


another's heritage. I saw it all, and yet, though I was a 
frivolous girl, you might have trusted me. There is such a 
thing as common honesty, even amongst those who think 
that to be happy is no sin.' 

* I have been an egregious fool. At least you will for- 
give me ? ' 

* What can my forgiveness matter? ' she said, with ir- 
repressible weariness. 'Tour offence to me can be but 
trifling. It is different with my cousin; you should not 
have distrusted one whom you loved.' 

' I never loved her, only yon, and you know it.' 
She sat like one in a stupor, heedless of how time went, 
or what had become of Jenny. It might have been an hour, 
it might have been three, or it might be only a minute he 
stood there motionless. Then his voice seemed to break a 
silence vast and awful. 

* I had not distrusted her if I had loved her. . You 
know that I loved you, always you. Will you not even 
say you believe me ? ' he demanded, hoarsely. 

' You distrusted me,' she said, in a strangely harsh tone. 

* And so have lost you ! ' he exclaimed bitterly. * Ob r 
I am well punished for my presumption, for my wilful 
bondage to reason, my obstinate refusal to obey the in- 
stincts of my heart. This is what reason has led me to.' 

The voice died away into the awful majestic silence. 
Slowly, but very slowly, the outer world dawned on her 
vision, a clearer conception came to her of where she was, 
of the fact that Rohan Blennerhasset still stood before her. 

* Have I forfeited your esteem for ever, Miss Ingram ? 
Is there no forgiveness for an offence that was in itself a 
torture ? Oh, there was a wide difference between mis- 
judging you and distrusting your cousin. The latter I 


accepted as the sequel to indisputable argument, the other 
I rebelled against with all my strength, though it seemed 
as logical as the other. Don't couple the two together. 
I ceased to think of her when I fancied my estimate wrong ; 
I loved you best when I doubted you most.' 

She rose suddenly from the sofa ; her eyes flashed, her 
cheek crimsoned, but her voice was cold, almost stem. 

'You forget yourself and me when you utter these 
words. I tell you once again, a misapprehension between 
strangers does not require any very great forgiveness. Go 
to my cousin, seek her pardon, and remember that she 
may not be as ready to break her given word as you seem 
to be.' 

She swept past him haughtily as she spoke. This was 
a pull up with a vengeance. It was the coquette, the 
frivolous butterfly, who reminded him of the engagement 
he had forgotten, who told him in unmistakeable terms 
that he, a man almost as good as married, and a barrister, 
was making a very pretty idiot of himself. 

' Was it not broken ? ' he muttered, as he still paced 
up and down. * Did we not part as strangers ? ' 

But then came the reflection that the parting had been 
the ostensible result of a mystery which was now revealed. 
He was still bound as though there had been no disagree- 
ment. Bound to one who indeed was as noble as he had 
ever thought her, but without the consoling reflection that 
the flashing eyes, the defiant smile, the merry witchery 
that came between him and his betrothed were but the arts 
of a siren, the wiles of an unprincipled woman of the 
world. f 




Every eye in that vast assembly was turned on the 
prisoner. What was the entrance of a peer of the realm 
at the moment when they had under their notice a girl, 
beautiful, young, a lady in every movement and motion, 
accused of a common theft ? Lord Ingram and his strange 
companion forced their way through the dense throng, 
until, by dint of an amazing exercise of imperious strength 
on the part of Balfe, they stood near the dock. 

The prisoner was already in court, and something like 
a thrill of admiration crossed the tramp's stern face at the 
sight of this girl, who, weak, vacillating in many respects, 
excessively timid by nature, rendered more so by the 
peculiarity of her early life, yet kept her secret from those 
stern inquisitors, ay, and what required more bravery, 
from those true friends. The unnatural paleness induced 
by terror gave her a marvellous statuesque beauty that 
suited well her faultless profile. Lord Ingram tottered 
now that the struggle for a place was over. The terrible 
fear that had come to him when the barred windows of the 
court loomed before his carriage was sickening him now 
with unutterable agony. It was terrible, terrible to be 
there, but he would not have gone away for worlds. A 
secret instinct drew his eyes to the prisoner, and he could 
not remove them. Suddenly he started forward with an 
irresistible longing to comfort that desolate girl, but a 
strong hand held him back. Like a wild animal he turned 


and glared at his detainer ; tlie. veins in his forehead stood 
out like cords, and he raised his white, jewelled hand as 
though he would have struck his enemy to the earth. 

4 You ! ' he hissed. * You to stop me ! Must I not 
even publish my shame till you do it for me ? ' 

' Bide my time, bide my time, I tell you.' 

Slowly, reluctantly he fell back into his place, heedless- 
of the fact that he, the aristocrat of aristocrats, who in his 
insolence of place and station had out-Heroded Herod and 
outstripped the most arrogant of his compeers, was 
shoulder to shoulder with the plebeian he had not counted 
of the same clay. Not so Balfe. Ho was preternaturally 
alive to the fact that the lord of Ingram was crushed 
against him bodily and spiritually. It soothed his fierce- 
pride, it told him his vengeance was accomplished. 

Neither of these two men took their eyes off the pri- 
soner whose trial was beginning. A solemn hush, pervaded 
the court as the question was asked, ' guilty or not 
guilty ? ' 

There was no answer till the question had been repeated. 
Then tremulous, yet distinct, came the words, 

' Not guilty.' 

A breath like a sigh of relief passed over the vast as- 
sembly. * Is she failing ? ' queried Balfe, curiously. 

The case for the prosecution having been stated, the 
defence was called. There was none. 

There was indeed a counsel in the shape of the cleverest 
lawyer in Ireland, beside whom stood a young soldier with 
crosses on his breast. There were also some witnesses got 
together at incredible trouble, but not one of them had a 
single statement to make that could be called a defence of 
the crime charged. All they had to say, all they could 


tell about, was the character borne by the accused, and 
that they dwelt upon with strange tenderness, until the 
audience had portrayed before them, by consecutive 
utterances, the history of a girl moved by pity for the 
suffering of her kind, risking her life to soothe some; 
never very brave, never very strong, yet doing deeds that 
the bravest and the strongest might shrink from. It was 
like an old fairy tale this story ; something, too, like one of 
those grand old poems that expatiate on a theme now ex- 
ploded, heroic endurance, evil overcome by good, great 
suffering nobly borne working out marvellous results. 

Lord Ingram made no effort to move now, he was 
spell-bound, with only consciousness to dread an awaken- 
ing. Was it of his daughter they spoke ? Was it for that 
poor, unhappy outcast, generous voices rang through that 
crowded court, laden with praise and honour the highest that 
can be given ? Was it her name that flashed in the glorious 
xecord unfolded by Miss Ingram, by Robert Dalzell, by the 
tiny black-eyed creature who poured out her whole soul in 
indignation against those who could suspect the girl whom 
she had known from infancy of aught but goodness, by 
that gallant, fearless soldier who brought up the rear ? 

1 This is, however, irrelevant,' remarked the counsel for 
the prosecution. ' There is no actual denial of the guilt of 
the prisoner, much less proof of innocence.' 

' Irrelevant ? ' retorted Charlie Devereux, his eyes 
lighting with indignation. ' No actual denial ? Why, 
what denial can be more substantial than the plain testi- 
mony of so many people as to the spotless integrity and 
moral worth of the accused ? It is not irrelevant, and it is 
an actual denial of guilt — ay, and proof of innocence ; the 
strongest, most positive that could be adduced. It is a 


'thousand times more conclusive than the best attested 

' If there is no further evidence — ' 
' There is further evidence,' interposed the counsel for 
the defence, in his calm, measured tones. 

It was Dr. Dalzell who stepped into the witness-box. 
The burly, beetle-browed doctor of St. Anne's Hospital 
'flourished a large red silk handkerchief, like a flag of vic- 
tory, with which he occasionally wiped some troublesome 
dust out of his eyes. Some of that same troublesome dust 
had evidently got into his throat, for there was a huskiness 
now and then in his stentorian voice, only to be removed 
by vigorous coughing. 

1 It's a queer thing,' he began, ' that some people have 
no eyes. No, nor ears for the matter of that. We know 
there's innocent people hanged every assizes by these 
splendid courts of justice ; but was there no one you could 
pitch upon to swell the list of criminal cases, and give the 
lawyers work, besides one of the little nurses of St. Anne's, 
the girl who braved the cholera, and wiped the death-damp 
from many a poor creature's forehead, never knowing but 
her own turn might come next ? I suppose some of yon 
are troubled with short memories, but I daresay there's a 
few here recollect Kate Balfe and Jenny Joice.' 

A thrill ran through the court at the sound of names 
unknown to few there. 

' Many's the day it'll take me to forget,' said a voice 
'from the upper part of the court. It was a bronzed sailor 
-who spoke, with all the genuine heartiness of a true salt. 
"* It's a bad opinion of myself I'd have the day I'd not think 
-of the kind hand, the brave heart, that nursed me through 

VOL. II. *P 


an awf al disease. Who ever said she stole a bracelet ? It's 
a lie.' 

1 You've about hit it, whoever you are,' said Dr. Dalzell, 
with the profound irreverence for the court that had dis- 
tinguished his previous speech. ' It's just a lie, and what's 
more, a lie that no one but a fool could be blinded by. A 
girl who dares a fearful death by day and night out of pure 
pity, doesn't grow up to sell her soul for a shining wrist- 

A confused murmur rose from every part of that vast 
assembly ; exclamations of pity and admiration, warnings 
to judge and jury not to injure the cholera nurse, mingled 
defiantly with the cries of ' order,' * silence in the court,' 
increasing in direct proportion to the vehemence of the 
crier, until it swelled into a monstrous clamour. A varia- 
tion in the shape of a tremendous cheer shook the roof, as 
Dr. Dalzell took up his position next to Jenny, stretching 
out his hand to Kate. She gave him hers mechanically, 
and a faint smile trembled on her lips, but she could not 
tell why he stood there, why she sat so still, why the 
hundred voices, by some strange contradiction, sounded in 
her ears, and at the same time seemed so far away, like the 
rushing of the ocean that you hear in the sea-shell. Was it 
of her they spoke ? Or was it some strange delusion ? It 
must surely be a mistake. How could she, who had always 
been a poor, weak-spirited creature, receive the acclama- 
tions of a multitude ? 

Some subtle instinct told the excited throng that the 
sprite who now pressed to Kate Balfe, as though to pro- 
tect her, was the same who had stood by her in her noble 

'.Long live the nurses of the cholera ! Heaven's light 


be their darkness ! May the spirits they comforted shield 
them from every sorrow ! ' were the cries that accompanied 
the names. 

Plebeian and patrician, alike brought up, alike generous 
And unselfish, they stood together now as they had done 
through life, and who shall teU the difference between 
them? Who shall decide whether to award the palm to 
the high-spirited, dauntless nature, throwing out all its 
amazing courage and fire in its struggle after good ; or the 
one destitute of that boldness, that magnificent courage, 
that high spirit, yet capable of a .sublime endurance ? 

From out the murmur of the court, the confused cry of 
sympathy and pity, rose a voice, not clear, not calm, but 
solemn and impressive .despite ks faltering, that hushed for 
a time all other sounds. It was the voice of the judge 
charging the jury. 

There were tears in his eyes as he spoke, there were 
tears in his voice too^ for he was a man with a human 
heart that swelled high to the echo of deeds of heroism, 
that throbbed responsively to the suffering of one all guilt- 
less. Yes, all guiltless he felt her to be, and yet he had 
not a single thing to remind the jury of that could absolve 
that young girl from the charge legally proved against 

her :. 

No longer able to refrain, Lord Ingram pushed his way 

to the front, to the dock, to the prisoner. He stretched 

out his hand to his daughter, grasping hers, and so he stood, 

heedless of the gaping throng. With a return of all his 

ancient dignity, and much of his haughty pride, he faced 

the crowd. No longer stooped and bent, he towered to 

Jbis full height, never prouder than now, when he was too 

jproud to fear what the world might pronounce disgrace. 

f 2 



Never as now bad the superb pride of bis illustrious ances- 
'tors gleamed in his blue eyes, setting at nought, refusing 
to acknowledge, any judgment but its own, flinging aside 
• as gratuitous impertinence the opinion of all outsiders. As 
if following his aristocratic companion's example, the tramp 
too pressed forward, and breaking the hush that followed 
the judge's speech, his sonorous mocking voice vibrated to 
the farthest corner of the building. 

1 My lord, and gentlemen of the jury, before you take 
rany further proceedings, I too have a charge to make.' 

This was not the time. 

* Oh, yes,' the tramp said, very coolly. * Lord Ingram 
is as good a lawyer as any of you, and he'll tell you a 
better time couldn't be chosen, I'll be bound. Mustn't a 
public lie be publicly denied ? And where so many ears 
and eyes together as here ? Now I accuse one Balfe of the 
crime laid to this young girl's charge, and I aver that she 
is innocent of the slightest knowledge of the bracelet, or of 
any complicity with the said Balfe.' 

There was a comical element of the ludicrous in the 
mixture of reckless disdain and lawyer-like precision of 
the measured terms he used, and he smiled grimly at the 
^startling effect produced by the repetition of a name so 
'famous. Ay, smiled, though it seemed his own death- 
•warrant he was sounding. 

« What, Balfe the robber ? ' 

' Oh, I didn't say Balfe the robber,' and again the grim 
'©mile baffled the lawyers. 'I said one Balfe.' 

' Father to the prisoner, Kate Balfe ? ' 

' Oh, no,' and the face of the tramp was impenetrable. 
* 'Tis n't likely I'd go and accuse Lord Ingram, of Ingram 
JPlace, of stealing a paltry bracelet. The earl • of Hell knows 


it's not needed, that he's sure enough- of him without such? 
little sins as that.' 

Lord Ingram! The sensation was at its height; and3 
equalled in intensity the famous one of four years ago. 
A convulsive shudder passed through the frame of the 
prisoner. As she leant forward she suddenly compre-^ 
hended that this man, by a revelation of his identity, had* 
come to doom himself to a speedy death. And after that 
speedy death to that man of crime ? In that awful moment 
it seemed a little thing to bear a temporary punishment, tc* 
let him have a little time to repent. A flood of illimitable* 
pity, glorious, divine, swept over that heart so easily moved* 
by others' woes, nerved that coward spirit, illuminated that 
pale face with a sublime radiance. With a sudden effort 
she leant forward, whispering, 

**I have borne it so far — I can bear it to the end.' 

He heard her. Low as were the words he caught them,, 
and turned to her. A strange light was in his eye, a* 
strange longing look, that might have been the silent cryt 
of a spirit not wholly lost for the immortality that was its- 

' You are sorry for me ? ' he said, with a strange mixture 
of wonder and reverence. 

* Yes.' 

• I have wronged you*; you will have your* revenge.' 
'No-; save yourself while you may. It is better I 

should bear a little than that you should die. . I tell you I. 
want no revenge.' 

' Wait — wait till you have tasted it. It is food for the 
gods. I have drunk deeply,, deeply,. and Ltell yom there is» 
no draught like it..' 



•*< 1 . . . ■ 

His voice rang through the court now as he turned to 
the judge and jury. 

* My lord, and gentlemen, let me tell you a story ; it 
won't take very long.' 

'Does it bear upon the case in hand ? ' 

' I leave that to you. A clever gentleman like yourself 
doesn't want the moral picked out for him.' 

Not a breath interrupted him as- he* went on, addressing" 
the throng as much as the Court. 

' Fifteen years ago this Balfe had a daughter. She was 
the only thing he had to love, the only sinless being who 
would touch his hand. And vet ho wasn't all bad then. 
If he stole, he did it that she might never know the want 
of stealing. Well, well — the parsons would tell you that' 
that wasn't the way, that his sin found him out. Well; 
maybe so ; generally speaking it does find the poor out. 
The man was a convict for two years, and when he came 
back his daughter was in prison. She was the child of » 
thief ; who would employ her ? She was amongst her 
father's friends ; was it any wonder she was driven to* 
steal ? Had she been more expert she might have escaped^ 
but she was taken up for her first crime, and a just judge 
ordained that she should finish her education at the hulks; 
ay, though the miserable father prayed on bended knee for 
the soul of his child. Oh, and when that wretched man 
implored for mercy that might avert all like misery to his 
judge, with what haughty scorn he flung back the insinua- 
tion that one of his race could ever be sullied by crime* 
It was in the blood of the poor man's girl to sin, that 
nobleman said ; it could never happen to one of his name. 
That was what he said — it was the blood. What need to 
tell you all the scathing, cruel words with which he seared 


a bleeding heart ? That was the gist of it — it was in the 
blood. The bereaved father was struck with a curious 1 
idea, that made' lift) seem worth having a little longer, 
though he had lost all of good it had held. He determined 
to put the noble lord's words to the test, and try whether 
patrician blood would be a bar to all the curses of poverty: 
He wasn't a man to let ideas run to seed. He took the 
little lady, and brought her up in the midst of filth, squalor, 
misery, such as the poor know. The Thieves' Latin was 
her nursery, the scum of a city her teachers, the spawn of 
vice her playmates. What good would you have from 

He paused : not a breath disturbed the perfect stillness 
of the place. From that stern, rigid man whose blue veins 
stood out like cords upon his ashen forehead, whose hand 
clutched the prisoner's as with a death grip, to the idlest 
stranger, all listened motionless, entranced. 

' Just four years ago this Balfe restored Lord Ingram 
his daughter, after she had been convicted of theft. But 
not that my lord might keep her ; oh, no. His daughter 
wasn't restored to him after her trial, that he might blot 
the crime off her young soul. No, she was sent to the 
hulks, that it might be branded there ; so you see it was 
necessary for his plan that my lord's heiress should be 
transported too. He promised that at the end of her first 
term her noble father might have her back ; that would be 
about three years hence, when she' has expiated the crime, 
of which she now stands accused.' 

4 Accused, but not guilty,' broke in the clear, assured 
voice of Charlie Devereux. 

' Well, my lord, and gentlemen,, don't you think it ws»> 
a fine experiment ? So it was ; only it failed/ 


A suppressed sob convulsed the audience- at this an- 

* Yes, it failed ; and all through a very simple little 
thing. Nothing more nor less than the pity felt by a giiT; 
very poor and very miserable for those who were worse 
than herself. It wound itself round that bad man's heart 
— that wonderful pity ; it reminded him of a story a mother 
had told him long ago* and that, though it could never be- 
ef nse to him now, was still very beautiful, very grand. It 
moved him, this beautiful pity, to be content with ruining 
her in the sight of the world,, leaving the soul free ; it 
caused him to bring her as a prisoner for a crime she never- 
committed, that the peer might taste somewhat or the 
bitterness he had drunk to the drega. He let her go back, to 
her lordly father, to see what sort of a welcome she would 
meet. And what do you think it was ? My lord knew 
that she was his daughter, he thought he knew that she 
was a blot upon his house, and he let her run away. He- 
did not turn her off, oh, no ; he only let her run away, out 
into the pelting rain and wind, with no shelter but her 
rags. She made him the offer, poor child ! she told him. 
she would go away and not disgrace him ; and he accepted 
it. And that other man — if his daughter had come back 
to him from hell itself he would have welcomed her with, 
outstretched arms. But she never did ; there was the 
trouble, she never did.' 

An ominous gloom was stealing over the stern visage,, 
till with a sudden effort he shook it off, and turned,, so that 
he should not see his enemy. For crushed, disgraced in 
the eyes of a few, Lord Ingram grasped a blessing he would 
never touch, and the thought made him very bitter. 

' Well, he let her go, and when Balte found her again 


she was one of the cholera nurses. Ah! it was a brave- 
sight to see that little girl; he didn't think her a coward 
after that, he didn't call himself a fool for letting her steal 
into his heart and rob him of his revenge. He determined 
to let her alone, to do her no wrong save keeping her from 
her place till her father was dead, that his heart might 
never be gladdened. But — ah, well, it wasn't to be. Her 
cousin, Miss Ingram, Baroness that was to be; came and 
took her out of his hands and made a lady of her. Balfb 
knew why she was doing it,, he knew she'd try to get the 
Better of him ; but he told her she shouldn't. He only 
gave np the girl to her on condition that she'd never reveal 
her to Lord Ingram tilL he begged for his child as Balfe 
would beg for his. But a little while ago my lord came 
back from his foreign travels, and Miss Ingram; threw the- 
father and daughter together. It awoke whatever little 
good was in the hard heart, and Balfe knew it was all up> 
unless he checkmated, that clever young lady.. So he- 
fastened another crime on that young girl. You see he- 
knew her so- well ; he knew she would never tell, he knew 
she would bear the censure, ay,- the punishment if need/ 
were, rather than betray the reprobate she had once calleefe 

'Scoundrel, infamous scoundrel ! ' 

' Ay ; wasn't he all that, Mr. Devereux ? Sure, if 
it's anyone has the right to say that it's you ; but will? 
yon tell me, was he much worse than that fine gentleman* 
yonder, who pleads the young lady's case so eloquently 
now that he knows all the facts, but who knew Kate* 
Ingram for near a year, and at the end suspected her of a* 
common theft ? Balfe was a scoundrel, as you say, but he- 
wasn't such a fool as that comes to. Well, my. lord, when* 


Balfe put a bar to Miss Ingram's plans, he didn't exactly 
calculate on sending her cousin to Botany Bay, and when 
he found she was taken, he gave me leave ' to come here 
and show how she is innocent, and to put all the blame on 

A still and solemn hush reigned as he ceased, then the 
grave, practical voice of the counsel was heard, at first like 
a far-off sound, but gradually drawing nearer, coming 
home to the senses of the hearers. 

' This is a story, as you say ; hut the law demands 

There was not one there, save Lord Ingram 1 and th& 
iftiree young girls, who suspected who the witness was. 
They judged from his appearance that he was a confederate 
of the man he accused, and expectation, intense anxiety, 
kept every nerve on the strain. What if all this fine story 
should go for so much rhodomontade ? What if it were to- 
end or seem to end like so much clap-trap, as it must if 
there were no proofs forthcoming ? And what proofs were 
likely to be available when it was Balfe, slippery, oily 
Balfe, of European notoriety, who was the delinquent ? 

'Well, let me see, what would you regard as proof? I 
told you it was Balfe who committed both thefts, but F 
don't believe he was such a fool as to do it in presence of 

* Produce the guilty man if you would have your im- 
probable tale gain credence. Bring this Balfe here.' 

' Oh, that's easy enough,' was the audaciously cooK. 
rejoinder. ' I'm Balfe ; and when I tell you that, I believe' 
you'll take my word for it.' 

So Balfe the robber was caught at last. An electric' 
shock passed through the court, galvanising all the lately* 


listening statues into convulsive life. Every neck was 
stretched and turned and wriggled to the very verge of 
dislocation. Squints innumerable were the results of 
frantic endeavours to get a glimpse of the daring robber 
who had been too slippery for the cleverest of them ; who 
had braved the terrors of the law all these years, and wha- 
now literally gave himself up. There was something silly 
and foolish in the faces of the turnkeys and the court 
officials as they secured the terrible offender. So startling* 
was the effect of the surprise that it was not until he was 
safely in custody that the wild yells and mingled shonts of 
the audience proclaimed their cognisance of the event that 
had taken place. Then the tumult was deafening. Exe- 
crations were crossed with expressions of the passionate- 
admiration an Irish mob always entertains for great daring 
and skilful evasion of the law, and- it would have been' 
very hard for a looker-on to decide whether it was the 
supreme pleasure of the crowd to tear Balfe to pieces or 
to chair him through the city. 

' Hurrah for the nurses of the cholera hospital ! ' carae^ 
clear and distinct over the hubbub.. It stilled the tumult, 
and then a wild prolonged cheer resounded through the* 
court. Again and yet again it was taken up, till the mul- 
titude outside caught it up and filled the streets with the 
shout, though they knew not why they did so. It is re- 
corded, too — though it may be but slander — that the 
ermined lords of the Bench- waved their wigs in default 
of hats ; but certain it is they were found all awry when' 
peace was restored.*; Certain, too, is it that judge and jury r 
to a man, rose as the group, consisting of the Ingram 
feunily, with Jenny Jo ice and Charlie' Devereux, left the* 


court- house by a little side-door that opened into an ante- 

Kate had not spoken since addressing Balfe. She* 
walked feebly between Lord Ingram and Charlie, looking: 
at nobody, heeding nothing, till the old man stood humbly 
before her. 

' Kate, my child, can you forgive me ? ' 

A faint, beautiful smile of wonder parted the pale lips,- 
but she did not speak. 

' Oh, Kate, my dear, my dear, don't look like that ! Oh,. 
mfoy didn't they come before ? Mavourneen, my only one,, 
speak to me.' 

It was Jenny Joice who pushed them aside, father, 
friend, even Miss Ingram, yielding the right claimed by 
the tiny creature, as she wound her arms round her com- 
panion and drew the cold cheek to hers. 

' Kate, Kate, I have no one but you, I never had. Oh,. 
merciful Heaven, is it too late ? ' 

The wild cry thrilled the hearts of the listeners, even to- 
stern,. self-contained Rohan Blennerli asset, but Kate made/ 
no sign. The statuesque features resting against Jenny's 
only grew more peaceful,. the slender hands fell listlessly, 

They wheeled a low couch close to Jenny, and pressed* 
round to relieve her of her burden, but she waved them, 
passionately away. 

' Stand back, all of you. She was all the world to me, 
she was nothing to you but a stranger to be doubted and: 
suspected. I will do for my poor girl what, is to be done.! 


— •*— - -*\ 



"The servants in Merrion Square were all ranged in 
the great hall. The news had spread like wildfire — the 
heiress was found, and they were marshalled to welcome 
her. Yet, somehow, a hush fell upon them as they 
watched and waited. It stopped their merry gossip, their 
wild surmises, their speculative curiosity. It deepened 

into a strange gloom as the time passed, and still they did 
not come, though the messengers from the court-house 
had ceased to pass by, and no more news came. 

* I'll go and see what they're about,' old Vyse said at 

last. He was the oldest servant there; he remembered 
well the lost baby, he had carried her in his arms on rare 
occasions ; so they yielded to him, though everyone would 
have liked to be the messenger, being only kept in leash 

v by the authority of the portly housekeeper, who, nafcknow- 

T ing whether to laugh or cry, did both together. 

' Yes, you go, Mr. Vyse,' she said, with what was in- 
tended to be dignified calm and was only undignified emo- 
tion. 'You have the best right to see our young lady. 
Everybody else stay here to receive her as my lord's 

- daughter should be received in her own house.' 

So Mr. Vyse went, strangely confusing the past with 

'the present, and not quite sure whether he would have 
to make a low bow to the prattling infant, or place a foil- 
grown young lady in a perambulator. Shooting athwart 

'these confusions came the faintly seen outline of a ragged 


child. What had she to do with it ? The old man could 
not tell. He had been called a bright lad in his time, bat 
his white hairs had not cleared his brain, and this sudden 
shock was too much for him. 

The crowd were nothing like dispersed, bnt the mur- 
murs that reached the aged butler told him nothing. 
Some indefinable feeling prevented him asking tidings; 
he thought he should hardly like his young lady's name 
bandied about by these people. He found his way to the 
side-room where he leairat Lord Ingram was, but the outer 
entrance to that would have been blocked up had it not 
been for the strenuous efforts of two policemen. Vyse, 
having whispered who he was, was permitted to come a 
little nearer the door than the rest of .the crowd. 

< Ye'd better *ot go in,' the policeman whimpered in 
a tone of friendly caution ;' they mayn't like it.' 

Only just found and hovering between life and death. 
A choking sensation filled the old man's throat as he stood 
on the step and looked through the slightly open door into 
the room. It opened wider, and almost unconsciously the 
old man found himself within the threshold. 

On a low couch, almost in the middle of the room, was 
what might have been the wraith of his dead lady whom 
he had served so faithfully and so well. So like her — only 
more wan, more sad, than she had looked in her coffin. 
One little hand lay on the breast, the other was held in the 
grasp of a beetle-browed man who frowned terribly on the 
blue- veined lids, but who neither spoke nor moved any 
more than a two-eyed Polyphemus turned to stone. Kneel- 
ing at the opposite side of the couch, her great eyes fixed 
with agonising intensity on the beetle-browed visage, was a 
Jittle black-robed figure. No w and then she placed handker- 


chiefs, -wet with aromatic vinegar, on the forehead of that 
motionless figure. Beside her, yet only in the second place, 
stood Lord Ingram, while his niece behind Miss Joice 
watched with equal anxiety. At a little distance stood 
the two young men, and not for a moment even did their 
eyes leave that group by the sofa. 

A carriage drove slowly, almost noiselessly, to the door. 
Almost at the same moment a man entered from the court, 
and whispered something to Lord Ingram. A spasm of 
mortal agony convulsed the rigid features into life, but no 
vestige of colour relieved their ashen hue as he listened. 
He paused for a few seconds ; not once did his gaze wander 
from that still figure lying there. Then he said, but still 
without turning his head, 
' Let him come.' 

It might have been minutes rolled out into terrible 
hours, it might have been hours of suffering condensed 
into moments of intense agony. Nobody there could tell 
which it was, so long and yet so short did the time seem, 
when a man manacled and guarded entered with his 
.keepers. He walked straight to the foot of the couch, 
followed closely, of course by his guards, and stood there 
very quietly, very silently. 

Perhaps there was an additional glare under Dr. Dal- 
zell's beetle brows, perhaps there was an additional shade 
of whiteness on. Lord Ingram's face, perhaps there was an 
additional pang of bitterness in the voiceless cry that came 
up from the depths of the little nurse's mournful eyes, but 
they gave no other -sign that they marked his presence. 

* We will move her now, my lord,' Dr. Dalzell said in. a 
whisper like subdued thunder. Miss Ingram and Jenny 
wrapped warm rugs round the unconscious girl, then stood 


aside to make way for Charlie Deverenx, *who lifted the 
light form into the carriage, into the tender care of weeping 
Mrs. Chirrup. He had stepped forward as one' who had 
a right to do her this service, and no one, not Blenner- 
hasset, not even the gruff old doctor, had disputed it with 
; him. 

He stood by the window when he came an, addressing 
3io one. Blennerhasset and Lord Ingram were still there, 
waiting like himself for a conveyance. The tramp and his 
guards had not gone yet, and the peer did not dismiss 

Charlie Deverenx 'was looking out, Seeing nothing, 
•battling with the storm within. It broke forth, that pent- 
dn storm, and with redoubled fury for having been restrained 
so long, and as he crossed the room to where the tramp 
stood, the bleak light of that winter day revealed the 
ghastly pallor of his face, the insufferable light of his 

'You, you have done this,' he hissed, in tones hoarse 
and low, 'You have done her to death. Others helped 
>you, but of you will I exact the most terrible account. A 
life for a life.* 

* Go on, Mr. Deverenx,' said the tramp, in strangely 

•calm tones that had no passion in them, but grief. ' Revile 

me as you will, strike me if you like. You trusted her, 

.you never doubted, whoever else did. If any man has a 

right to bring me to an account, it's you. If they'd been 

•all your sort, she wouldn't have had such a bad time of it 

•among the lot of us. And all for no fault of here — for her 

father's sin and mine. Your friend, Mr. Blennerhasset, 

*there, had a hand in driving the steel in deeper.' 

^Charlie turned from him with bitter passion. 


f Oh, they all helped. We can trust now, but it is tbo 
late. Oh, my lord, and you, Rohan Blennerhasset, ask 
> pardon of Heaven for every cruel thought you have had of 
one of whom we were not worthy.' 

' Charlie '-^and Blennerhasset stretched out his hand, — 

* believe me, your indignation cannot be greater than my 
remorse. I would give all I have to atone for my unjust 
suspicions. ' 

There was a frank, manly regret in the tone that would 
have touched Charlie's heart at any other moment, but he 
was very bitter now, for his sorrow was hard to bear. 

' It is too late to atone,' he answered, passionately. * I 
can believe you are sorry, but your regret will not undo 
the wrong, your remorse will not give back the months ef 
misery that crowned her life of suffering.' 

* Charlie, I acknowledge I have proved a poor friend 
beside you. As you say, I can do nothing now, only say I 
am* sorry,' Blennerhasset observed, with a strange absence 
of his customary hauteur. 

'And much good that will do,' sneered the tramp. 

* Why couldn't you believe in goodness when you saw 
it ? You are gentlemen all vthree of you, and used to such 
luxuries, yet only one of you could recognise it, without 
its trappings of gold and rank, when it was before your 
•eyes ; while I, an outcast, steeped in sin, guessed what it 

Lord Ingram for -the first time turned to the robber, 
speaking in short gasps, 

' I have good cause to hate you, but perhaps I have 
something to thank you for too — ' 

' You have nothing to thank me for,' interrupted the 
.tramp, haughtily. ' Lord Ingram, if I hated you before, I 



f hate yon worse now. If I could have restored her *te 
honour and happiness without doing the same by you, if 
there had been one grain of selfishness in her nature that 
would have let her rest contented while you were in disgrace, 
I would have found some way to marry her to an honourable 

•gentleman without letting you hear her praises to-day. If 
I could have done ^it, you would have gone down to your 
lordly tomb, as I shall go to^my felon'-s grave, weeping for 

va child hopelessly lost.' 

There was an indescribable pathos in the last few words. 

"The swarthy cheek paled, the cavernous eyes 'glowed like 

'living coals. He stood for a moment silent, despairing, 
then shook himself suddenly, as if to fling from him the 

^dejection he despised. There was a fierce majesty in his 
reckless mien as he turned' on his heel, pointing with his 
manacled "hand to the door. 

* Come on, my men ; I am ready.' 

' Stay,' the white-haired nobleman whispered, with a 
-sudden effort. * You have given me back my daughter. I 
'forgive you all -these terrible years. Escape while yet yon 
may. I will hold these men scatheless.' 

* Escape from here ? ^we my life to you ? There are 
five of you, -and if I had chosen to escape you could not 
have prevented me. Remember that I owe you nothing 
Xju.1 undying hate. Remember, too, that should you lose 
your daughter you are again my lawful prey. Then less 
than ever can pity find place in my heart, for you have had 
a happiness I can never have ; you have been spared a 
pang I shall endure to all eternity. No one can ever take 
from you the knowledge that your child was unpolluted. 
The tears you might drop on your grave could never be 
.jvirched by a breath from the pit. I shall never know the 


joy you have had to-day; I shall never forgive yon for 
"having had it. My lord, I warn you, help my judges to 
hang me high and safe while you have the chance, for if I 
live to see your daughter dead, I will hunt you down like a 
mad dog.' 

There was an uncompromising hatred in his scowl that 
•made the flesh of his auditors creep. Then, with a smile 
of mocking derision, he left the room with the turnkeys. 

The carriage was already at the door, and the three 
gentlemen entered it, ordering the coachman to drive 
quickly. He pulled up with a sudden jerk as he neared 
the mansion, for that other carriage had gone but slowly, 
and had only now stopped. Old Vyse was there before- 
hand, and stood with his white head bared holding open 
"the carriage door while his young mistress was carried in. 
It seemed very awful to the puzzled domestics to see this 
almost inanimate body carried through their midst, to see 
their own Miss Flossy follow hand in hand with a wee 
-mite whose only care was not to lose sight of that burden 
so carefully born by the doctor of St. Anne's. Still more 
sad -was it to see that white-haired old man enter, with 
bowed head and bowed spirit, heedless of the pitying looks 
of his domestics, wondering whether he had brought his 
daughter home to die. 

They placed the newly-found heiress in the room that 
'liad been her mother's, and Miss Ingram and Jenny Joice 
installed themselves as nurses, Mrs. Chirrup acting ad 
superintendent. The servants, still with that strange, 
-solemn hush that had fallen upon them that morning, 
moved about scarcely daring to speculate above their 
breath on the sad bringing home of the heiress. 




They brought her round by slow degrees from the verge of 
the grave. The brain fever that had supervened was fol- 
lowed by a complete prostration. But never surely had 
patient more faithful nurses than the two young girls 
who would permit no hireling's hand to minister to Kate 
Ingram, or perform those kindly offices one woman receives 
from another. 

It was a great day at Ingram when the heiress was 
moved from Dublin to the Place. Once in the free blithe 
country, bursting out in all the ecstacy of spring, her re- 
covery would be more rapid. Rohan Blennerhasset and 
Charlie Devereux seemed to pass the chief part of their 
time on the line, for they were up and down between 
Ingram and Dublin almost every day. 

Perhaps Charlie Devereux had been too sanguine, 
perhaps he was just a little impatient, but it seemed to him 
that Kate did not get well as quickly as she ought to have 
done. He began to fancy too that Blennerhasset's visits 
grew more constrained. Some recollection, perhaps, of 
that time at Tramore induced him to take Jenny into his 

' We must manage somehow, Jenny, you know,' he said, 
gravely. ' It won't do to let her break her heart for Rohan 
Blennerhasset's confounded pride.' 

Miss Joice looked up at Charlie thoughtfully. It was 
.some time before she spoke, and then the words came slowly, 


dallying in the interlaced branches of the great trees over- 

' Do you really think she loves him, Mr. Devereux ?' 

' I know it.' 

* I have not found it out all these months.' 

* Let us not speculate on anything so fallacious as that/' 
he said, with an earnestness that warned her of the danger 
of raising false hopes. ' Remember, I made ray experiment. 
Advise me, Jenny, I am her cousin ; have I not a right to- 
open the eyes of that man ?,' 

'Not that way, Mr. Devereux, we will do better,' she- 
said, after another pause. ' Ask your cousin to invite him 
here for Easter. If his suspicion was the result of his 
nature, and fronvno lack of love, matters will right them- 
selves. If otherwise it is as well my poor darling should" 
break her heart before marriage as after.' 

'Ah, Jenny, but do you not understand ? Love throws 
a glamour over what is, transforming it into what ought to 
be. He is cold, distrustful, suspicious, but he is all good- 
ness to her because she loves him.' 

'And I tell you, Mr. Devereux,' she went on in the 
same slow measured tones, ' that of all the wrongs you can 
do a woman, the worst is to marry her to a man who does 
not love her.' 

Miss Ingram was not astonished at the request Charlie 
preferred, with a queer sense of how callous he must be- 
getting to other people's suffering,. She looked up in his 
face with a. kindly quiet smile. 

' I was thinking of that,. Charlie.. Kate is strong enough* 
to bear company now, and all she wants is rousing. We 
will make the place alive this Easter, and I shall constitutes 
you my master of the ceremonies.' 


Miss Ingram kept her word, and speedily a choice* conv 
pany was gathered at la gram. Something like a well-bred 
buzz of admiration ran through the newly-arrived guests 
as the two Miss Ingrams entered the drawing-room before- 
dinner. Miss Joice, much against her will r accompanied 
them. It was the first day she had dined with the family r 
and now only in obedience to* the imperious mandate of r 
Miss Ingram, who had suddenly displayed herself as a> 
tyrant of the first water. 

' While you were my head nurse I obeyed you in every- 
thing, now that you are my guest yoa must obey me,' said 
this despotic blonde beauty, who had regained, as if bj 
magic, all her old wilful gaiety. * You are my guest, Jennj r . 
dear Jenny Joy, for you see I have not yet abdicated ia 
favour of this lazy young lady/ 

* No, nor must you ever/ said Kate, with deep earnest- 
ness. ' I couldn't bear it ; it robs me of all my happiness/ 

Beatrice Ingram laughed merrily. 

'Ah, Kate, you don't know what fun life is tame. Do- 
you know I have had sorrows in my time ? Jemny, dear- 
Jenny knows that, and yet when the mood is on me I can 
extract mirth out of misery. It is on me just now. I have* 
a reckless sort of idea that I would not give the delicious 
amusement I am likely to have when I meet my old loveir* 
in an altered position for the life-long happiness I once' 
craved for.' 

' And that I robbed you of ? * 

* No, my dear. Never have that idea. I robbed mysetf 
of it ; my position, my fortune, had nothing to do with it» 
Ah, no, I, and I only, was the spoiler of my own happiness, 
and were I to have grown trebly rich instead of a little 
poorer I could not have won it back. But why so serious ? * 

0NLT SO HAPPY. 2*11 

and slie laughed' with the merriment of the mad fit' that 
was on her. ' This care sits very lightly on me just now,. 
and I can think of nothing but the recherche entertainment 
I have prepared for myself. What would I- take to forego* 
it ? I can hardly telL* 

Jenny gladly accepted the chair placed fori her by 
Charlie Devereux in the alcove, and with the thoughtful— 
ness that ever distinguished him,. Charlie took a seat beside 
her, and commenced chatting, so. that any sense of lone*- 
liness the elf might feel among so many strangers wore off, 
until, arriving at that happy state when she was uncon- 
scious that there was- such a person as herself, she was at 
liberty to enjoy the scene aroun&sto the full* 

Kate was sitting beside one of the magnates of the land r 
Lord Dunderhead, a suave, courtly, harmless old gentle- 
man, who paid vapid compliments in a deliciously ecstatic* 
way, that caused each inane word to drop with all the 
pomp of pearls and diamonds. He had formed a very^ 
favourable opinion o£ the young heiress, who, with all* 
her shrinking timidity and reserve, never was flurried* 
or excited. The listless apathy induced partly by herr 
long illness, partly by a sense of the intolerable dul- 
ness of her companion, pleased him as an evidence 
of perfect breeding, and he exerted himself to the 
utmost to be agreeable. Her quietude suited him much 
better than the merry sparkling, raillery of her cousin, . 
who bewitched only to plague, and who could never be 
entrapped into half-an-hour's seriousness^ without the 
danger of an explosion at the end. Talking to Mr. Blen- 
nerhasset, Lord Ingram seemed to lose something of the 
wistful restlessness that had of late distinguished him.. 
Now andi then his eye turned uneasily to his daughter,, as* 


if to assure himself she was there. Lord Dunderhead's 
manner pleased him ; the old gentleman was an autocrat 
on matters of good taste, and he seemed so perfectly satis- 
fied with his companion, that everyone else must* perforce 
be so too. Mr. Blennerhasset seldom looked towards his- 
betrothed ; to be sure he was engaged in a deep argument 
with Lord Ingram, an argument, too, of a very remarkable- 
nature, in which neither gave relevant answers to discon- 
nected questions, and yet neither detected the other, so 
abstruse was the speculation, and that may account for tho ' 
fact that the lawyer's keen blue eyes remained fixed on* 
Miss Ingram, as though by their concentrated gaze to- 
steady his mind. 

Miss Ingram was in her glory. Out of pure malice she 
had invited a cordon of her old beaux, amongst whom were*- 
Harry Dillon and Mr. Clinton, and some score of others* 
who had been at the- feet of the golden calf. She knew 
very well they would come to secure an early introduction 
to the new heiress, and she promised herself rare amuse- 
ments in watching their various methods of wriggling off 
the old love before wriggling on the new. She was en- 
joying the first instalmeut of it now, for Lord Dunderhead 
continued to monopolise the daughter of the house, and 
the young men, not yet having trained themselves to resist 
the fascinations they had always yielded to, fell as if natu- 
rally into their places around Miss Ingram, whose throne- 
was a couch of crimson velvet, over which she displayed 
her rich robes right royally, while she held what she -told 
Jenny in passing was her la.*t grand drawing-room. 

Never, perhaps, had she dressed herself with such taste, 
never had she looked so provokingly charming as now, 
when the brilliant crimson of an inward fever tinged her 


cheek and lightened her eyes, while, conscious that her 
subjects were about to desert? her, she had no motive to 
refrain from making them feel her power while she yet 
possessed it. They should feel it ere she was yet prac- 
tically dethroned, she said to herself, and they should not 
forsake her, since she would forestal their good intentions* 
for them. 

So her scornful mirth knew no* limit to-night, her deri- 
swe sallies were uncompromising, her merry mockery was 
merciless ; and still as if in a charmed circle those young- 
men lingered round her, promising themselves that by-and- 
by they would cultivate the better dowered beauties, who 
were now entertained by gallant gentlemen in antiquated v 
queues and monstrous coat tails. 

The spell was broken by the announcement of dinner. 
Several looked anxiously towards the young lady to whom 
Lord Dunderhead gave his arm, a few withdrew hur- 
riedly to secure a not portion less partner, but the rest, 
with some dim remembrance of a time when they had air- 
contended for the privilege of taking the belle of the 
season down to dinner, tried to get up a travesty of the 
old proceedings. 

She looked up at them with an exceedingly quizzical 
glance-, as 'if pondering whom she should select, and the^ 
seeming doubt imparted some little show of eagerness to 
the sham contest. Her eye rested longest on Lord de 
Vere, whose mother was now anxiously watching him. 

'I believe I ought to go down with you,' she said, with- 
a gracious smile, ' for I know you like pleasing the coun- 
tesSj and she thinks me the dearest, sweetest girl in the 
United Kingdom. I have it on good authority — she told 1 
me do herself*. Stilly I am a> very bad- person, I never do» 


just what T ought, so I shall disappoint the dear* countess 
just this once. Now which of you gentlemen can promise 
to be most amusing ? ' 

'Miss Ingram, permit me to offer you my arm.' 

' Thank you, Mr. Dalzell. Oh ! it's Mr. Blennerhasset. 

Well " and she glanced across to see that Kate was* 

provided for. ' That will do.' 

With a haughty grace she bowed to the mustachioed' 
circle, and swept past on the lawyer's arm. She had 
accepted him as her escort to show her independence of ~ 
the others, but they had scarcely reached the dining-room 
when she felt the embarrassment of the inevitable com- 
panionship. Well, she could be insolent to him too.. 
Why not ? He had not put his- neck under her golden 
slipper, true, but he had wronged her all the same, he had 
condemned her unheard,. and it was too late to trust now., 

'Miss Ingram, you treat us very badly,' observed Mr- 
Clinton, who was her other neighbour. ' You seem to • 
imagine that our allegiance can be less true now thatt 
there is another: heiress of> Ingram.' 

The speech restored her to her mocking self , and she* 
laughed a charming little laugh. 

' How could I suppose such a thing ? And you, a man* 
of the world, too, to put such dreadful thoughts into the- 
rudesse of language. I am shocked.' 

' But I cannot allow you to entertain a bad opinion of me.'" 

'On the contrary, I have a very good opinion of you,, 
and I shall consider it downright ill-breeding for you to* 
suppose anything else.' 

' Then be a little kinder than you have been for the last 
half hour.' 

'Have I been, unkind ?. I am. truly sorry. I would. 


not for the world offend such true friends/ and she bowed', 
with ceremonious politeness. 

'You might have worse, at least, Miss Ingram,' he 
retorted, nettled at her tone. 

1 Why, we have always been excellent friends, Mr, 
Clinton,' she said,, with sudden gravity. * Don't let us 
quarrel ; I assure you I have no wish that way. Why 
should I ? Have you not all been friends in the true ac- 
ceptance of the word ? Have you not all willingly yielded me 
the stores of pleasure,, of intellect, of homage ? Have you 
not all faithfully contributed your quota of amusement to the 
nighest bidder ? And why should I profess to be ungrate- 
ful to those who have so carefully performed their stipu- 
lated part of the bargain, now that I am no longer in a* 
position to perform mine ? On the contrary,. I am very 
grateful to you all. You have made my life a very merry 
one, and surely that is something to be thankful for.' 

4> So we have only contributed to your amusement ? ' 

* Now you shall not fick a quarrel, no, you really shall* 
not/ she said imperiously, for Mr. Clinton, was a favourite^ 
'Attend to your right-hand neighbour till you are in at 
more amiable mood, and then come back to me.' 

She got through that dinner somehow, maintaining* 
towards Mjv Blennerhasset the haughty dignity dashed* 
with derision that she had adopted of late. Her manner* 
said plainly as manner could say, ' I am Beatrice Ingram, 
still. I have as much real right to your deference as ever- 
I had, and no more.' She was as one who had gained a>. 
kingdom rather than lost a fortune, and in her most 
mirthful recklessness she commanded homage with a> 
queenliness she had never before displayed. Mr. Blenner- 
hasset seldom addressed her, never except when common* 



politeness demanded it, and she puzzled her brain to find a' 
reason for his taking the trouble to offer her his arm. 

' He can be generous, although he is not just,' she 
thought, with some bitterness. 'He does not wish me to 
feel my fallen fortunes, as no doubt he thinks such a frivo- 
lous butterfly must. And I do, I do feel the change, but' 
not as those people think. It is no overwhelming revela- 
tion to me that those wha vowed love to me a few weeks 
since should now only seem to exist for a glance from my 
cousin. I do not even accuse them of inconsistency for 
being so constant to the money-bags, for keeping their 
faces so persistently turned* to their god Mammon, regard- 
less of whether his throne is in the gorgeous East or the 
newly radiant West. Ah ! no, it is not their faithlessness 
that will move me ; it is not their love or friendship I shall ' 
regret, for what I never had I never lost. But it is the- 
endless amusement I shall miss, the power of laughing 
with them or at them, as my fancy went. I shall be no 
longer able to congregate round me the savants of a city, 
and unlock with my golden key the storehouse of their- 
treasures of wit and knowledge, to concentrate in the tiny 
focus of my own circle the most brilliaut rays of giant' 
intellects, the bright fancies, the sparkling epigrams, the 
entrancing chivalry of the various luminaries of this 
charming planet. To me it will be no longer permitted to 
flirt without an object. Any naturalness I may permit to 
be visible will be husband hunting. My silliest smile to a., 
single man will be construed into a bid for an establish- 
ment, so that I, I to whom the charming gallantry that is- 
charming precisely because it means nothing, entails no> 
responsibility, giveR pleasure in the present without* 
thought of bondage in the future,, the dalliance of good.' 


society, that involves no debtor and creditor account, since 
yon pay as you go, I, to whom these bubbles are the very 
breath of life, must fold my hands and close my lips, and 
look sour on those who seek to please me, for fear match- 
making mammas may have to warn their unfledged nest- 
lings against the arts of that designing girl.' 

' You have got into a brown study, Miss Ingram. Mrs, 
Chirrup has been looking at you for the last ten minutes.' 

She started and rose, and like a troop of wild swans, in 
their fleecy evening attire, the ladies flocked to the drawing- 
room. This was Miss Ingram's time for making her peace 
with those of her own sex whom she had neglected, and 
must neglect again directly the gentlemen returned. She 
had no wish to appear other than kind and courteous, but 
she could not bring herself to cut a flirtation short for sake 
of askiDg a dowager how her last doctor explained her 
bronchial affections, or condoling with a simpering young 
lady 'over the disasters inevitable on changing maids. 
Now, however, there was no flirtation, scientific, religious, 
or amorous, possible, and she performed with a very good 
grace the duties that had devolved on her as daughter of 
the house, and that she had resolved to slip out of only 
as Kate was competent to undertake them. Having sat a 
little there, chatted a little here, quizzed one, congratulated 
another, she came to where Kate and Jenny sat talking. 

' How comfortable you look,' she said, seating herself 
on the carpet at their feet, * and I so hot and tired. Jenny 
Joy, put your little cool hand on my forehead.' 

* You mustn't sit there^— ' 

'Yes, yes, let her be,' interposed Jenny, drawing the 
tired head to her lap ; and so, holding a hand of each, Bea- 


s - sue talking in a desultory fashion that involved ne 

* Now, Kitty Ingram, chatterbox — dear me, how unlike 
,i chatterbox you are now — tell me how you like your 
lovers to be.' 

4 My lovers to be ? ' said Kate, a good deal amused. 
* I don't know them.' 

* Didn't you see them collected around me before 
dinner ? ' 

' And do you imagine I have the conceit to suppose 
that those who have admired you could bestow a thought 
on me ? ' 

' No, you haven't the knowledge of the world even to 
believe it, bat it is nevertheless true. What will you bet, 
^Kitty, that they are not all around you before bed-time ? * 

' I'm ndt going to bet anything so absurd.' 

' Because you know you'd lose.' 

*Ah, cousin Beatrice, if ^their liking is so easily 
* changed it cannot matter much who has it.' 

' Is that meant for a sarcasm or a consolation ? I 

'don't feel inclined for either. Do you not understand, my 

*dear, that these devoted cavaliers are simply the Baroness 

Ingram's appendages, like the great O'Connell tail ? You 

•have come into their possession as legally and lawfully as 

you have come into possession of your name and heritage. 

But I have enjoyed the good of them — no little, let me tell 

you — for a good many years, and I am not going to malign 

tthem. The only motive that led me to mention them was 

that, if you put away in your memory all the soft things 

fcfe. *each one utters, I can promise you some genuine fun by 

^^v$3acing each compliment in juxtaposition with the fellow 

H^^me .paid me last season by the same earnest, single-hearted 


*ndmirer. Is it a bargain ? ' she asked laughingly, for 
even as she spoke two or three gentlemen had made their 
<way to the alcove. 

'What a low seat you have selected, Miss Ingram,' 
lisped a tall > and very handsome gnardsman, from whose 
watch chain ^dangled a timepiece the size of a shilling, and 
who, with a sort of gigantic infantine playfulness, seemed 
to emulate the gambols of a young elephant. His little 
tie, his even tasty pin, his charming soft curls, might have 
been the pride of a pretty boy of ten instead of the tallest, 
'broadest man in the room. 

* Did I not always profess a penchant for low seats ? ' 

* I scarcely think so.' 

* What a bad memory you must have, Mr. Purcell. 
That is a bad character with which to present you to my 

* Ah, then, pray change it,' he lisped, opening wide his 
'big blue eyes. 

' Kate, allow me to introduce »Lieutenant Purcell to 
your favourable notice. He used to have a very good 

In a short time the alcove was as full as it could hold, 
and Jenny participated in the sport. Between her and 
Miss Ingram the gentlemen had enough to do, but Kate 
took everything quietly, as was her wont. Blennerhasset 
watched the group from the window, and at last joined it. 
Miss Ingram, unaware of his close proximity, dealt out her 
•merciless rail toy as thick as ! hail, till, looking up, she met 
the curious glance of the stern blue eyes. A sudden sense 
of the undignified position she had chosen rushed across 
her, and she rose to her feet. ' Come out on the terrace, 
Jenny,', she said. 



The elf accompanied her, and arm-in-arm the two girls 
strolled in the moonlight. Lord Ingram joined his niece, 
and drew her aside. 

'My dear, I want your advice. Blennerhasset has 
something to say to me to-morrow. I can guess what it is 
about, but it is very hard to lose my Kate so soon. Still, 
I am aware that she was engaged to him before. Now 
what I want you to tell me — my brain seems so strangely 
confused — ' and in truth he paused, and put up- his hand 
across his forehead in the peculiar excited way. noticeable 
of late, and almost startling from its contrast with his 
usual frigid demeanour. She put her arm through' his, 
and stroked his hand with the caressing gentleness of the 
days when he had no daughter. 

'Tell me what you wish, dear.' 
'Ah, I know — yes — do you know, do you think, Kate 
will be happy with him ? I want to be prepared for him 
— he's such a clever fellow. Does she — do you think she 
cares for him ? Would she be disappointed if I sent him 
away ? ' i . ] 

Whiter grew the moonlight on the young face. 

' Yes, uncle .Ralph, f I think she does care for him.' 

'Well, I know she was engaged to him — but still, 
don't you think it strange that she shouldn't prefer that 
handsome, . gallant young soldier to this rigid, just— and 
therefore unjust — man? I could better bear to give her to 
him. Through all he was so true to my child — so true.' 

' Don't wrong, Mr. Blennerhasset, uncle Ralph,' shesaio^ 
in low, quiet tones. 'Be is very honourable ; you need 
not grudge your daughter to so good a man. If he has 
seemed distrustful it is but the peculiarity of so finely 
•sensitive a temperament.' 


"* Thank you, my dear. I knew you would advise for 
the best Still— ' 

He paused again and did not resume the subject, but 
after some fitful hesitation left the terrace, and Beatrice 
again joined Jenny. 

' What is the matter, my dear,' asked the elf, winding 
her arms round her Mend, forgetting all barriers of rank 
• when trouble came. 

'Nothing, Jenny Joy,' whispered the .Dublin belle, 
letting her head sink on the faithful shoulder, ' only, 
only I am so happy.' 

'Happy is it? 'and -there was^a world of wistful sym- 
tpathy in the voice so exquisitely musical now, in the 
swimming eyes. ' What a very white, ooid happiness it 
is, my dear.' 

* But it is a very good happiness, Jenny Joy, a right 
good, true happiness. Help me to bear it.' 

Oh, and she did help her to bear it, this tiny untaught 
•girl with the great big heart, she helped her friend to bear 
this new great happiness that had much indeed for the im- 
mortal soul, but little, oh, so little for poor human nature. 



The beautiful moonlight steeped that beautiful old Place on 
its cold pure light. Stretching up as if with longing 
glances to the queen of night, the quaint ivy-draped 
turrets seemed clothed in a wondrous mellow light that 
'fell down to the soft green sward, to the dark fir troea 

VOL. II. s 


•and glistening laurels, lingering lovingly on the lair young 
: girls, the noble men, who wandered here -and there among 
the fantastic fountains, sparkling, shimmering, shining with 
ra glint of smiling treachery on that most beautiful, most 
(treacherous sea. 

Charlie Devereux could not understand his cousin. He 
^watched her with a dim idea that behind that -sparkling 
jest and silvery laugh there lurked that traditional beast 
of prey. But Rohan Blennerhasset had no such con- 
solation ; he only saw the cloak that in this case was so 
broidered and blazoned with the pride of a woman's heart; 
flie saw only the practised coquette, utterly heartless. 

'Have you heard — did Flossy tell you — that it's all 
•made up between them ? ' Charlie whispered to Jenny. 

* Yes.' 

The tone, the earnest clasp of the little brown hand, 
♦comforted him asiihey were meant to do, and Miss Joice, 
strangely moved by the various influences of the time, 
wept silent tears, none the less bitter that no sob betrayed 
them. A strange keen pain came with every note of the 
music that floated over the waters, and still as if fasci- 
nated she >kept her eyes fixed on Kate — Kate, surpassingly 
beautiful in the pale moonlight ; Kate, beside whom sat one 
inoble gentleman, hers and hers only; Kate, rich Kate, 
"from whom never wandered the farewell glance of that 
'Other man, equally noble, nay, grander, truer, equally 
hers and hers only, inferior to the other in naught but 
good fortune. Oh, how bountifully gifted was this girl, 
who without an effort won the love of two such gallant 
men. Not envious, not jealous, oh, no, only very, very 
sad was the little black-eyed elf, as she drank in the sweet 
might sounds that moved her to crave for the sympathy 


>Bhe could never have. She conld love so well, yet. she 
must never hope to be loved ; she could be so faithful, so 
true, yet she must never hope to be first in any home, 
more than a temporary appendage to anyone. 

Lost in her bitter thoughts she leaned back, her eyes 
still fixed on that exquisite face, her mind filled with a 
vague wonder as to whether Miss Ingram whose trouble 
was losing the one she loved, could suffer as much as her 
-whose grief was that she might never be loved. 

Charlie suddenly turned his head. He was shocked 
with a sudden sense of heartlessness when he looked down 
at the disconsolate little figure, whose misery and dejection 
were so plain in the bright moonlight. He noted the look 
she bent on those two grand specimens of nature's handi- 
<work, and immediately formed his own conclusions. 

' Poor little *Tenny Joy. She, too, loves Rohan Blenner- 
hasset.' This was his explanation of her tears, her strange 
'look of suffering. ' Oh, why, why is it that these generous, 
high-souled women should love this man, who is not worthy 
^any one of them, who is incapable of comprehending their 
, grand natures ? ' 

He waited for the poor little elf, and put her arm in 

his. She had been so brave, she had comforted him when 

his own trouble was heaviest on her, and so he led her 

> about the lawn, away from the lighted drawing-room, the 

rattling piano that was attracting all the strollers. 

' Poor little Jenny,' he said, after a long silence. 4 Well, 
at least we can sympathise with each other.' 

' Why ? ' she asked with a short gasp. 

' You gave me a hint of your sorrow once, Jenny, but 
II was so blinded by my own that I never saw it till to- 

a 2 


Well, well. It was very hard that he should fathom 
that mournful secret, but why not ? Was it not a fact 
patent to everybody ? That is, to everybody who could 
even for a moment ponder on the possibility of associating 
affection with the grotesque figure of the dressmaker of 
the Theatre Royal. Why should she be sore about it ? 

' I had better say good-bye to-night, Jenny Joy ? ' he 
resumed after a pause. 

'Are you going too?' she said, drearily. 
' Yes.' The fair open brow was contracted moodily 
now. * I've nothing more to do here.' 
' When do you go ? ' 

'To-morrow, early. I wanted to say good-bye to you 
in time ; we have been very good friends and confederates, 
haven't we ? ' 

' Yes,' said the poor little thing pitifully. ' I suppose 
-that is why I am going to lose you ? ' 

There was a strange sad depth of sweetness in the 
-troubled eyes, in the low musical monotone, that stirred 
the compassionate heart of this brave man. And as if to 
make the contrast more striking, there on the other side of 
the great cedar tree two persons were walking in a quiet 
content they had not known for many years. It was Kate 
Ingram and Mr. Blennerhasset ; they were talking very 
gravely and earnestly, and in the brilliant light of that 
April evening their expression seemed that of relief. Some 
explanation had at last been come to, and evidently a satis- 
factory one to both. 

' How happy she looks/ was Charlie's involuntary ex- 
clamation. Then he turned manfully away. He was con- 
tent that his last look at her should see her happiness, and 
.he turned to the little figure by his side. He had been 


very successful, but success is not always sweet, and hid 
well-nigh sickened him. 

' Don't forget me, Jenny.' 

Her dejection had completely mastered her to-night, as 
it had never done before. 

' I have not so much to remember that I should find it 

easy to forget you,' she said, bitterly. Then with a sudden 


vigorous effort she rallied, and' was once more herself — 
brave, energetic Jenny Joy. 

4 No, I shall not forget you, and you must not forget 

' If I only could/ It was his turn now. 

' Don't try,' she said, with a sharp briskness that was 
invigorating ; ' it will do you no harm to remember your 
trouble. It didn't come for nothing, you know, Mr. Deve* 
reux. It's got to make you stronger, braver, better in 
every way before it's done with you. Don't go to your 
travels with the idea of running away from it, you can't 
do that ; but take your memories boldly with you, and 
make them do their proper work by making you a better 
man, and remember that they were never sent to make a 
mope of you, or to write out a charter for a useless life. 
Mind, Mr. Devereux, there's nothing in the whole world 
so despicable- as a man who is no good to anybody. No 
sorrow, no sufferings can give you a license to mope your 
life away, to take all and give nothing ; so don't let any 
sickly sen timen tali sm sink you to that wretched thing — a 
creature without a place in the world. You're not the 
sort to sink easily into such degradation ; but take my 
advice, and don't do violence to the better part of you* 
nature, or when it is- dead^ and you are fain to bury it out 
of sight, it might strike you you could have dene better 


than spent your years weeping maudlin tears over its grave;. 
Don't try to shirk your harden — that's useless ; don't hug 
it to your heart either, hut hear it on your shoulders like a 

All night long the image of that patient,, suffering girl 
who spoke such brave words haunted Charlie. 

* Poor little Jenny Joy,' he said to himself, as he packed 
some things his servant had forgotten. ' She suffers so- 
much from that passionate, ardent nature of hers ; she has 
not a woman's usual defences against keen sorrow — frivolity,, 
and a multitude of ties ; and yet how well she bears it. If 
it is dreadful for me to suffer, what must it be lor a girl,, 
tied to whatever spot fate and the proprieties may consign 
her to ; debarred from the thousand changes a man may 
lawfully seek. And yesterday I thought there was no* 
sorrow like my sorrow.' 

Jenny Joy was an early riser. The miserable generally 
are. It is only the happy who find that sleep eheats them? 
out of the best portion of their lives. She sat by the open, 
casement as the pillars of purple and gold reared them- 
selves in the east, shifting, deepening, widening, to let the 
god of day come through* But she was heedless of those 
gorgeous piles of violent and pink and pale amethyst * r 
heedless of the balmy south wind laden with the perfume 
of the morning ; of the twittering songsters whose blithe- 
carol rushed out in a jubilant chorus ; blind, deaf to the 
beauty and melody, except in so far as they made her heart 
ache, seeing only the weary, weary life before her. 

A quick, crisp step on the gravel walk caused her to* 
look out. 

* Why, Mr. Devereux, I thought you were going by the 
early train ? ' 


1 Well, so I thought, too,' he replied, looking up with a . 
eomical smile. 'But you see I'm here yet, and what's, 
more it's all your fault.' 

* My fault ? ' 

' Yes. Come down and have a walk to the beach.' 

She was soon beside him, and they had scarcely got 
clear of the house when Charlie plunged into anew reso- 
lution, that, well as she knew Charlie Devereux; took Miss* 
Joice fairly by surprise. She waited till he had finish ed t , 
for the simple reason that he had taken her breath away.. 
Then she looked up and said in her very sharpest tones — 

' What nonsense are you talking, Charlie Devereux ?. ' 

' I think we should get along capitally,' said CharJie r . 
not in the least disconcerted. 'We are both in precisely 
the same predicament ; we like- each other well enough for- 
mutual condolence, and that is a great bond of sympathy,, 
let me tell you.' 

An amused smile shone through the tears that would, 
come,, a smile that deepened into sublimity in its fortitude,, 
oompassion, and gratitude. 

' Gh, you foolish,, generous-hearted Charlie, how yoo. 
would wrong«yourself if I let you.' 

'Just the reverse. I'm all wrong as it is.. I want you 
to right me. You'll keep me up to the mark, and I feel 
awfully inclined to degenerate just now.' 

' I can do that for you still, if L could, do it at all,' she- 

' And then you'd have no time to be very miserable,, 
for you ? d have your hands full with a great blundering; 
fellow like me. And you like me enough for that, now 
you know you do, don't you ? ' 

' Of course I like you r you ridiculous boy. I like yo«i 



so well that I'm quite sorry yon make such- a goose of 
yourself. Now let me hear no more of this nonsense,' and* 
before you go give me your promise as a gentleman thai- 
yon won't go and propose to anyone else until I can give 
you a certificate of sanity.' 

' You might as well have me, Jenny,' he remarked, with 
an odd mixture of kindness and comicality. * I'm not a 
bad fellow in the main, and if you refuse me I shall have 
no one to turn to.' 

'Don't try just yet,' and now her voice- in spite of her 
was soft and sweet. * I do like you very, very much, and' 
that if nothing else would prevent me marrying you. I 
like you so much I cannot bear to think of losing your 
friendship. Mr. Devereux, if I were even a fitting wife 
for a noble gentleman? like you, I would not dream of 
accepting your generous proposal. Believe me, we could 
not do such violence to our own hearts, be so untrue to ouit 
best selves, without suffering for it in some shape. But 
let us still be friends, friends always.' 

There was that in her grave seriousness that told him* 
she was wiser than he. 

' Friends always — nothing' more ? ' • 

' We could not possibly be more, you foolish boy, and I 
would not for worlds have it less.' 

' Well, Jenny, I wanted to comfort you, to make your 
Hfe more pleasant, to do for you what you do for me.' 

' You have done so already,' she said, with a depth of 
humility he could not comprehend. ' You do not know 
how meanly I think of myself, or you would understand 
what an amazing thing it is to me that anyone, much less 
a man handsome, young, and noble, should, even for the 
time it took him to utter the words, contemplate sharing 


his name with- me — me, the witch of the Latin ; me, an 
eerie, shiftless creature, unlike all others of my kind, never 
a child, scarcely daring to lay claim to the name of 

' You, may be a witch and an eerie elf too ; in your 
tantrums you are just both ; but this I know, that you are 
also one of the truest, most honourable women in the 
world.. It is not now. that knowledge has come to me, 
Jenny. I had it long, long ago, long before a great sorrow 
had bound us so closely together.' 

She did. not repel the words with bitter mockery as she 
might at another time ;. she only held out her hand, and 
said simply — 

' Thank you, Mr. Devereux. I know I am not like 
that ; but, oh ! it makes me so happy to know that anyone 
could ever think so of me.' 




Robert Da«lzell sat alone in the studio sacred to him at 
Ingram. An unfinished picture wus before him on the 
easel, but the figures- ceased to grow on the canvas, for the 
spirit that had called them into life was travelling far 

Travelling backward over the records of a lonely life; 
tired and weary grew the spirit of the man; travelling 
over the future blank and bare, only to grow wearier still-.. 


He had got fame, he had got riches, and what good 
they to him? So he mused, till a reproving thought 
checked him. Old and dull and grey-haired, he might 
never hope to overtake the happiness he had missed in his 
youth ; but it was still left to him to earn a child's grati- 

What right had he to feel aggrieved that a handsome 
young man should look into those eerie eyes he saw ever- 
and always? What right had he to tarn in sickened 
disgust from the art that had been mother, wife, child to* 
him all these years, merely because he had looked at the 
picture made by Charlie Devereux bending over the sturdy 
little waif who would owe him nothing ? Should he not 
rather set himself to the task of promoting, so desirable an 
union ? He should and would. 

Of course she had refused him. No need* for Charlie's 
preparations for departure to tell him that. It would not- 
have been Jenny, generous and true, to do anything else. 
She would be the last one to forget inequality of fortune* 
where another was concerned^ though for herself she- 
defied the world and all its precedents. Well, it ^as in<his r . 
Robert Dalzell's, power to remove that inequality. Of 
course. He had made up his mind to that when the pic- 
ture so fairly touched by the morning sunlight had dawned 
upon him, and he was only pondering all this time over 
the means, 

He covered the easel on which lay the unfinished' 
painting, with its fervid glory of light, its sombre un- 
fathomable shadow, as though he took no more pleasure 
in it, and went to look for Jenny. 

He found her in the pretty sitting-room where the 
three young girls generally spent their mornings, very fev* 


of the ladies appearing to claim their attention before 
luncheon. He lingered a few momenta among them,, 
noting in a dreamy kind of way that Kate was brighter, 
Miss Ingram paler and quieter than usual. 

' I want your help in the studio, Jenny. Can yon com© 
for a moment ? ' 

Could she come ? Of course she could come. Such a 

' First, now, I must shew you my work,' he said,, 
raising the covering, ' and Jou must tell me whether you 
are pleased with it.' 

It was a sunset scene: Pile upon pile of red gold 
clouds, gorgeous masses of startling beauty, shed a lurid 
light on two figures standing out clear and bold in the 
foreground. One was a man, seated on a mossy stone,. 
a fragment of some of the many boulders that lay about. 
A painter's easel was thrown beside him, his hands were 
clasped over his face- partially hiding it, but scant scat- 
tered locks of brown hair broadly streaked with grey fell 
ever his temples,, and his eyes were turned to the molten* 
fire in the west, towards the' river that flowed between 
like a broad belt of blood, as though he would wring the 
secret of their colouring from them. His whole attitude* 
bespoke impotence, and a more striking suggestion of a- 
man's defeat when struggling with nature could hardly 
be imagined. The other was* a girl, childish in aspect^ 
with olive skin tinged with the rosy radiance of the* 
clouds. Her dress was scant and poor and travel-stained,* 
But it seemed as if the drapery were purposely left plain,, 
that not a look might be distracted from the divine pitjr 
that shone in the wistful face, the great sad black eyes.. 

L Well,, Jenny, is it a good likeness>H ' 


' That iff you — but — who is that ? ' 

' Don't you thiuk it's like you, then ? ' 

In her heart Jenny knew it was not. AM she had not' 
studied the old mirror upstairs for nothing. 

' No, sir y but it is very good of you to make me look 
like that. I'd rather you painted me that way than as I 

He covered up the picture very deliberately, and she- 
waited patiently to be told what help he required from her. 

'Jenny, what answer did-you make Dr. Dalzell ? ' 

' About going to the hospital ? I think I'll go.' 

'Do so. You will go- as his daughter; he • desires 
nothing better.' 

' I'm not going that way. ' 

' But he wishes to adopt you. Whether you agree or 
not, I shall regard you as the daughter of my nearest rela- 
tion. You are therefore my natural heiress. No, you 
cannot alter it — this is my will,' and he laid his hand on a* 
sealed packet on the table. 

' So you see,. Jenny, if I cannot have my own way 
living! I shall have it dead. But you might let me have a 
little of it while I'm here.' 

' Oh, sir, it's the only thing I've g^t, my independence f. 
don't take it from me.' 

' Independence may go too far, child. You refesed Mr; 
Devereux to-day, did you not ? ' 

Her conscious start of troubled surprise was* answe* 

enough. She looked anxiously at him, wondering which? 


of her unspoken secrets would next be dragged to light. 

' You might have confided in me, Jenny. What good 
is my money to me, if it will not forward the establish-; 
ment of the child o£ the dearest friend I ev,er had H ' 


* You're very good — but I'm not in any hurry to get an 
establishment. Much I'd know what to do with it when 
I'd got it,' she responded, tartly. 

' I do not wish you to marry Mr. Devereux with a 
shadow of inequality between you. I have the power and 
the right to dower you richly, richly as even .Mr. Deve- 
reux' s bride should be. Do not think I am conferring a 
favour ; I am asking one.' 

'How good you are,' she said, with bitter gratitude. 
'.But I tell you I shall never marry Mr. Devereux.' 

' He is young and handsome ? ' 

' Yes, sir.' 

' Good, brave, accomplished ? ' 

' Yes, sir.' 

' You like him, do you not ? ' 

1 Oh, yes; who could know Charlie Devereux without 
liking him?' 

' And yet you refuse him ? ' 


'Why? I have a right to know. Our friendship, 
Jenny, does not count by years or months or days, it is to 
be measured by thoughts, feelings, sympathies ; therefore I 
am a very old friend, though J have only known you for 
two years. Why do you refuse Mr. Devereux ? ' 

' Why ? Because the life in the attic, with my canaries 
to twitter all day while I work,, and you to let me look at 
your pictures sometimes, pleases me better.' 

* What ! spend your young life in a garret with no 
companion, no amusement save the prosy talk of a dull, 
grey-haired old man ! Ah ! I am not so selfish as that ; do 
not tempt me to be,' and he spoke now to himself rather 
.than to her. ' You must marry and be happy, jou must 


leave me to my life of loneliness ; it's only -what I was 
accustomed to, before I found you, with your ready sym- 
pathies, your keen sensibilities. Why should I fly in the 
'face of Heaven because two whole years have been taken 
out of my count of misery, because for two whole years I 
'have been warmed and cheered in a glorious sunshine P 
What though I shall fall back into darkness deeper than 
before ? Shall I not be thankful for two whole years P 
•Shall I not have the remembrance to comfort me always P ' 
He spoke aloud the bitterness of his trouble almost 

'It is, then, a comfort — never mind how little — but 
still a comfort — to have me always near you ? ' she said 
•eagerly. ' Is that so ? ' 

' A comfort ? Is it comfort to have the joy and vigour 
•of youth, the freshness and beauty of a grand, warm 
nature, infused into a life whose prime is gone P Perhaps 
it may please you to know what a happiness you have been 
to me, how from the time you came upon me by that lonely 
stone the thought of you has brightened and beautified the 
art I was beginning to fancy cold and dead.' 

Transfixed with the greatness of the revelation, she 
stood speechless, her eyes ablaze with excitement, her red 
lips parted. She a happiness to anyone P She a comfort ? 
It was incredible ; yet he said it, he certainly said it. A 
•great flood of gratitude filled the passionate heart almost 
to bursting. She who had been so rebellious, so impious, 
<who was she to have this supreme happiness given her P 
.An ecstatic joy filled every sense of her being, while a keen 
pain thrilled every fibre for those who were less fortunate 
ithan herself. 


*' It does please me,' she said at length, very slowly, 
"* so well that I desire no other pleasure.' 

' You understand, then, that being your debtor, I have! 
a right to repay somewhat. And stay — do not fear — I am 
willing to become your debtor still further — you will learn 
to give me a daughter's love, a little corner in your 
remembrances. * 

' You had that long ago, long ago,' she said, in those 
rare musical tones, ' and now I will make a bargain with 
you. If you will promise to say no more about Mr. Deve- 
reux, I in my turn will promise that when anyone I wish 
*to marry proposes for me, I will ask you to dower me.' 

' Can I trust you ? ' 

' I promise.' 

« But Mr. Devereux ? ' 

* Ah ! sir, it's no use trying your hand at match- 
making ; you don't understand it, let me tell you, and you 
>might as well leave it alone/ 



Lord Ingram's restless mood increased rather than dim- 
inished. He had grown -visibly weaker, and strangely 
fitful. The only thing that seemed capable of lulling him 
back to his former placid self was the low, sweet voice of 
his daughter, as she tread some poet's thoughts aloud. She 
never wearied of the task, and at seemed to soothe him 
wonderfully. To Kate it seemed to bring back the old 


days when she had peered through the- laurels iifto flie 
study, fascinated by the grave, haughty face that had spell- 
bound her on the old Latin. 

Ifc was changed now, this haughty face, and wistful as 
ever grew the grey-black eyes as she tried to read the 
deep lines, the unsightly furrows. Now, as then, her heart 
went out to the lonely man, lonely in spite of his rank, 
his wealth, for these appendages had lost their value; 
lonely in spite of the presence, the passionate clinging love 
of his daughter, for he had lost the power of realising 
that he had found her. Yet no one suspected how his 
poor mind wandered and groped in the darkness that had 
come upon it, or how hopelessly he struggled with the in- 
extricable confusion that linked, beyond his power to 
separate them, a child restored and a child disgraced. 

Yet sweet and lovely enough to soothe a troubled mind 
.looked Kate, Baroness Ingram to be, as she sat on a low 
seat beside Lord Ingram's chair, and filled the cool, pleasant 
room with the silvery music of a most flexible voice. Very 
pure and fair in her simple white dress, and her eyes never 
wandered from her book, except to rest on the weary, worn 

* What a pity ! what a. pity ! ' 

r * What is a pity ? ' she asked, putting down the book, 
and laying her cool soft -hand on his. 

* Charlie Devereux should have married you. I promised 
his father — but how can I break their engagement P ' 

* Whose engagement? ' 

* Charlie's. Beatrice is not the right one now ; he ought 
to see that.' 

He spoke peevishly and irritably. The cool hand was 
withdrawn, the reading proceeded, .mingling insensibly 


-with the twitter of the birds — not the shrill and deafening 
clamour of imprisoned canaries, but the free, unfettered 
chant of thrush and blackbird, poised in the leafy heights, 
whose luxuriant foliage subdued the song to entrancing 
melody, with the gurgle of unseen fountains, with the 
balmy sighs of a thousand flowers. 

Charlie Devereux, having missed the early train waiting 

*for Jenny, thought he might as well remain for breakfast, 

and by so doing lost the last of the morning trains. Some 

-commissions his cousin wished to write out detained him 

still one o'clock, and after luncheon there was no earthly 

reason why he should slink off instead of saying good-bye 

in a proper manner. So my lord's discreet valet put his 

; black head in, and then his body, to whisper in his most 

-dulcet tones — 

* Mr. Devereux, my lord, wishes to see you for a momenta 
i Let him come in here,' said Lord Ingram eagerly. Per- 
haps the most distinct idea his wearied mind was able to 
grasp was that of this man, who had always believed in 
his daughter. 

* I have come to bid you good-bye, my lord,"* said Charlie 
< quietly. 

* Why, why ? ' was the peevish exclamation, 
' I have deferred my tour so long ' 

' Oh, I can't spare you; don't go away just when I want 
you all about me. Dear me, it's all wrong. How is it ? ' 

Then he forgot Charlie's presence while he wandered off 
into a dreamy speculation as to how Charlie should be so 
tiresome to get engaged to the wrong rousin, when he was 
so worthy of the right one, and at the same time wonder- 
;ing how Kate could be so blind to this grand, generous 
faith, as to prefer clever, doubting Hohan Blennerhasa 

¥OL. II. s 


-Charlie's low voice did not disturb him, as lie addressed a 
few low words to the white-robed figure, so like a beautiful 
flower against the dark-green velvet carpet, redolent of a 
subtle perfume, faint and pure. 

He was nothing, he could be nothing to her, and yet "he 
had been very good. She would never forget that, and so 
she controlled her voice to speak kindly and hopefully of 
Iris return, although he was engaged to Miss Ingram ; but 
somehow a constraint in the tone struck Charlie painfully. 

* Have I been making a fool of myself ? ' he wondered. 
A Have I been sickening her with any maudlin regrets ? * 

At last he rose and approached Lord Ingram. 

'Good-bye, uncle Kalph^ he said, stretching out his 
hand with the old boyish frankness that became him so 
well, and throwing something of the old gaiety into his 
voice. ' I'm going to have a merry cruise, so wish me good 
luck in old-fashioned style.' 

* Good-bye, my boy, I wish you weren't going — but— 
but — ah ! it's all my own fault. Ah, Charlie, I never was 
so wise as now that I'm going down to the grave. My 
brain is a little bewildered at times, my mental faculties a 
little clouded, but my new eyes have been opened, and I 
see that if we "would only let our destinies alone they 
wouldn't be nearly so tangled. Don't you ever set about 
^straightening yours, Charlie, it ? s the Worst thing you can 
do ; and above all leave other people's alone. You may 
think your pottering is mending, but you never made a 
more miserable mistake.' 

i Do you think so ? ' he said, with a bitterness that was 
lost on Lord Ingram. 

* I don't think it, I know it. And then we call our 
ts by such grand names that they don't seem follies at 


•&U ; we call our flying in the face of the decrees of Provi- 
dence proper prudence, our stifling of all natural feeling 
unselfishness, our desire to have a finger in every man's 
♦destiny love for our fellow creatures, and perhaps that's 
the most miserable mistake of all.' 

' Oh, I wish I had thought so before. I wish I hadn't 
been so anxious about the welfare of others,' muttered 
Oharlie savagely, as he turned away. * Good heavens ! if I 
should have been bungling all the time.' 

Kate came out on the grassy plot that faced the study, 
^and stood with her back to the shining laurels, gleaming in 
the yellow sunlight, with as gloriouB a framework of fir- 
crowned hill tops and waving woods as ever formed the 
setting of so lovely a flower. Pull of the new thought, 
Charlie took both her hands in his, and looked straight into 
the wistfal eyes. ■> 

•* Are you happy, Kate ? ' 

Under the circumstances this question sounded to Kate 
like an insult. Did he fear that his rather sudden retreat 
to Miss Ingram's camp would break her heart ? - With the 
sensitive pride that is often strongest in those timid, shrink- 
ing natures, she withdrew her hands, and stood before him 
clothed in a dignity that Buited well the queenly contour 
of her figure, but that he had. never seen her wear until 

' Certainly I am happy, Mr. Devereux ; I have every- 
thing to make me so.' 

' Pardon me — you are my cousin, remember, so forgive 
me if I spoke too freely. Say Good-bye kindly, it may be 
the last time. One never knows ; at least it is the last time I 
shall see you till you are Rohan Blennerhasset's wife. Well, 
1 wish you every happiness, and him too — yes, him too — 

s 2 


?and I want to be your true friend, both your Mends, 

' I shall never marry Mr. Blennerhasset.' 

There was no faltering now. He was nothing, conld 
"be nothing to her, yon know ; so there was no reason why 
•she should not set him right, and send him away with a 
better opinion of her common sense. The outrage of that 
imagined insult* gave her a calm, passionless coldness ; 
•gave her, too, a self-possession she could not otherwise 
'have attained. And though this man had offended, she 
would compel herself to speak kindly, as to one who had 
once been very good to her; she would compel him too to 
respect her. 

' Did he back out — I mean, did he not hold to his 
proposal? ' 

'I believe — I know he would have married me — he is 
a strictly honourable man — if I had insisted, but he never 
loved me.' 

* And you — you refused him ? ' 
' Yes.' 

* Why ? You loved him once.' 

' I was very grateful to him for his kindness to one so 
lone as myself ; ' and she crossed her arms and drew herself 
•up with unconscious stateliness, ' but my love for Rohan 
Blennerhasset died out the day I found he had none to 
jgive me.' 

' Not to revive again ? ' 
•*JS"ot to revive again !' 






An hour later, as Mr. Devereux was racing along the* 
passages in the reckless break-neck fashion peculiar to** 
bim, he blundered up against Mr. Dalzell.. 

i Why,, Devereux,.. your man told me you were trying to* 
catch the ten train/ 

i Well, I'm here yet. Didn't yeu see me at lunch ? ' 

' I was painting till now. Is that your trap ? r 

Charlie looked out of the window and laughed. 

'Good gracious ! I forgot all about it.' 

' How many last good-byes do you say ? Your part- 
ings must be pretty elaborate affairs." 

'Well, yes, I've said a great many to-day.. I believe- 
I've crammed as many into six. hours as a good manager 
gets into six weeks. But I believe I've really said mj 
veritable last good-bye now, and I tell you what, old fellow r 
L'm not sorry.' 

' You're going by the five train, I suppose ? ' 

' No, I don't think I'll go to-day, Dalzell ; you and I 
have been chums a long while now^and I don't know any- 
one I should like better to congratulate me.' 

Back, into the grey shadow of the corner went the 
painter ;. into the grey shadow that clothed him body and* 
soul with its sombre hue. His nerveless hands were down* 
by his side, and did not move to meet Charlie's^ 

' Hash she accepted you £ ' 

, l^LJgjLj i l^.BJ 


' Yes. Do yon think I am snch a coxcomb as to speak 
without warrant ? Wish me joy, Dalzell/ 

* I do wish yon joy, from my heart,' he said, stretchings 
out his hand. There was something im the shadowed face,, 
in the unnaturally qniet voice, that thrilled the gallant 
heart that happiness would never render selfish. 

* I have not grieved yon, Dalzell ? I'm a great awk- 
ward fellow, I know/ 

' I couldn't wish better news than yon have told me r 

An honest, manly elasp of the hand, and then Robert 
Dalzell turned away. Where should he gio ? Where but 
back to the studio he had just left-. 

So then he had smoothed the way to some purpose. 
Ah ! it had not been all pain that sturdy resolution of 
Jenny's not to marry Charlie Devereux ; he knew thst 
now. And so he spent that long afternoon pondering over 
a new phase of the exceeding bitterness of success ; while/: 
Rohan Blennerhasset was engaged in plunging Lord 
Ingram into still more complete confusion. 

' Marry my niece ? ' he repeated, in a helpless, puzzled 
sort of way. ' Why I thought, dear me, I thought — well 
never mind what I thought — you can't have Beatrice all 
the same, she's engaged to Charlie Devereux.' 

' To Charlie Devereux ? ' 

* To Charlie Devereux ; and a fine fellow he is, though 
it's a pity he was in such a hurry. But what am I saying ? 
it's my own doing. They've been engaged since child- 
hood. I thought you — everybody — knew.' 

c Heartless to the end ! Oh, what a perfect coqi ette ! ' 
He bade Lord Ingram a hasty adieu, and gave orders- 
to his servant to be ready for the five train. 


Every moment in that house seemed to take a year* 
from his life. ' Doped all through,' he murmured, as 
he paced to and fro under the beech trees. ' And to think, 
I should have let her see it, that she should have preached 
propriety to me that day.' 

He never noticed Mr. Dalzell til! he was close to him. . 

' Cool here, isn't it ? ' he saidj- as though a stroll under' 
the beech trees needed Borne apology. 

' Very ! ' said the painter in a dreamy, abstracted way. . 
Instead of quitting the walk as he had intended he turned 
with the painter, pondering, whether he could satisfy his- 
curiosity without raising suspicion. He wanted to know 
whether it had really been no secret that Miss Ingram was 
engaged, so that he might see how far his own blindness, 
had duped him. At last he decided. 

' Dalzell,' he said abruptly, ' did you know — do you 
know whether Charlie Devereux is engaged ? ' 

4 He is.' 

'Ah! Good-bye, Dalzell; I suppose I'll see you in 
town some time when these festivities are ended. By th&- 
bye, they're wearing you ; you're confoundedly pale, man.' 

' So are you,' was Robert Dalzell's involuntary ex- 
clamation, as he grasped the hand of the younger and 
sterner man. ' Where are you going so suddenly ? I hope 
nothing has happened? No misunderstanding between 
yourself and Miss Kate ? ' 

Dalzell spoke with all the freedom, of a very old friend y 
spoke as no one else would have dared to speak to the 
cleverest lawyer in all Ireland. 

' There is no misunderstanding, or anything else but 
friendship, between Kate Ingram and myself. I never 
loved her ; she knows that, and is very well pleased to* 


know it. But I might have made a fool of myself for* 
another. Ah, well, I have no right to reproach her. Give- . 
my best wishes to Devereux and to her.* 

He was gone, and a moment after the painter from his* 
leafy shelter saw the light dog-cart rattle down the chief 

* Poor fellow, poor fellow, I never suspected this, r he 
murmured,, as he resumed his measured walk- 'I'm not 
the only one, after all,, who finds it a cross sort of life.! 

He did not find as much consolation in the reflection as 
another would have. It did not lessen his loneliness that 
another tasted its bitterness. 

So he walked up and down mnder the beech trees, heed- 
less whether the sun set in a bed of pare gold or fiery 
red, until the dressing-bell warned him. of the.howr, warned 
him that the days were gone by when a shattered heart 
excused a like state of raiment, or wasted affections pleaded 
in favour of a morning coat at dinner. 

How bright everything looked in the diawing-room^. 
The company had thinned, but there still lingered some 
half-dozen elegantly got-up gentlemen, with immaculate 
coat tails and ties of the tiniest, and one or two young:, 
ladies, schoolfellows of Miss Ingram's in the early days 
when she had not been an heiress, as well as Miss Bouverie,.. 
who criticised Kate with her sleepy eyes that never seemed 
to see anything, but that took in at one languid glance as* 
much as another would have learnt after half-an-hour>s 
vulgar staring. 

Not only everything but everybody looked bright. Tte 
elf was the centre of one group, Kate of another, both 
unusually animated, while Miss Ingram swept about in 
her queenly fashion, with a bon-mot or a smile for every 


one, according to the capabilities of each recipient. Her 
sarcasm was toned down to-night to a merry overflow of 
fan; as she approached Robert Dalzell it merged, as it 
always did when she neared him, into pure kindness. 

''Havejxru heard the good hews ? I have not seen you* 
all day. You know they are engaged ? ' 

4 Yes.' 

* Have you congratulated them yet ? No ? Well, don't 
forget. She values your friendship, Mr. Dalzell.. Is your 
picture finished yet?' she added, abruptly changing the 
conversation in obedience to some secret instinct. 

' Not quite — nearly. Will you look at it to-morrow ? ' 
c Thank you — may I ? I don't trouble you too much ? ' 
'You never trouble me; it is very good of you to 

brighten an old man's study. How happy your cousin* 

looks. I have never seen her look so — so nearly a» 

handsome as you.' 

' Mr. Dalzell, you ought to be put in Coventry for such 

an outrageous compliment. As it is your first — and it is- 

to be hoped last — attempt, I let it pass.' 

i It is true your cousin's profile is puisely Grecian .? 

*" And mine is — ahem ! ' 

* But I alluded to the expression.' 

' Is that a* covert form of telling me that intellect is my 
forte P Say at once that I'm that monstrosity, a blue, and- 
I'll call on every gentleman in the room to defend an. 
unprotected female from libel. But don't you think Kate 
has very good reason to look happy ? ' 

1 To be sure — they were such friends.' 

'And then he is everything that could be desired..^ 
Where would you find a more gallant young fellow than* 
this dashing soldier cousin of mine 'i ' 

26*. IKG^AJf PLAGE. 

* True^ true.' 

* Just look at Jenny* Mr. Dalzell. I always thought it 
a- wonderful face, with those great black eyes and those 
coils of hair ; but to-day she has developed into as hand- 
some a little flirt as ever I saw. What a power of sympathy 
she must have.' 

Miss Ingram passed on ; and it was not till just before 
going down to dinner that Jenny received Mr. Dalzell's 
congratulations. She looked up in blank perplexity. An : 
insane idea that simple, single-minded Robert Dalzell was. 
degenerating into sarcasm took possession of her. 

' I knew you loved him, Jenny ; you should not, have 
tried to deceive me,' he said, in conclusion. 

'Your penetration is decidedly superior to mine,' she 
responded sharply. 

' You would not marry a man you did not like ? ' 

' I said so once in my life, and that was when Charlie* 
wanted to make a fool of himself.' 

* How ? You are engaged, are you not ? ' 

' To that dapper little fellow to go down to dinner. He; 
has been told I'm a West Indian heiress — polite for negro, 
you know — and I've told him I'm not. Bot he likes the 
lie better than the truth — how many do ! — so I shall do no 
more to disturb the delusion to-night, bat in the meantime 
he shall pay for it. Besides, he can best be spared; he: 
wouldn't be much use to take down anyone much taller 
than myself.' 

* Oh, Jenny Joy ! Charlie Deyereux ? ' 

'Surely I've done condoling with Mr. Devereux. I've 
turned him over, or rather he's turned himself over,- to 

( Jenny, I cannot understand thisJ 


1 Why, it's easy enough. Charlie loved my Kate all 
along, and she, like a dear sensible girl, appreciated him 
after she saw the difference between him and Mr. Blonner- 
hasset, who never really cared about her at all, and only 
engaged her to be his wife as he would engago a cook, 
because he thought she would suit. And all tho titno 
we put her down for being so foolish not to marry 

* And you ? ' 

1 What about me ? ' 

* He proposed to you this morning P ' 

' Yes. I haven't told Kate yet ; but I will, juHt to 
punish him for getting so downhearted in a hurry.' 

The grave, quiet face of the painter grow unnaturally 
pale and stern. 

' Things have changed since I was young/ ho naid. 
' It was not usual then for a gentleman to propone in 
the morning to one, and be engaged to another in tho 

*■ You're not angry with Charlie Dovcroux P ' 

' Either he loved you, or he did not.' 

* Of course he didn't love me. I novor thought ho 
did; he never thought so himself.' 

' Then how dare he propose to you in trifling P ' 

* It was no trifling, it was very sad, Hobor earnest. Poor 
fellow, he would have married a black ju«t then if she hail, 
said she would have him.' 

* But you — you liked him,? ' 

'Of course I did, and do, and always shall, bettor 
almost than anybody else. There are not so many Charlie 
De.vereu.xs in the world that I should pass him over. And. 


you don't know how happy Lam that things have righted* 
themselves at last.' 

* I can't understand it,' he repeated, in a puzzled sort*- 
of way, as a noise of rustling dresses indicated a down- 
ward flight from the drawing-room, and Jenny's dapper' 
little squire stepped forward. 

'Upon my word, Jenny, you're getting a shocking; 
little flirt,' whispered Miss Ingram as she passed. 

'Poor little fellow,' said Jenny, in the same tone.- 
'Won't it be — excuse the slang^an awful sell when he 
finds out — if ever he lets himself, that is — that I'm not a 
negro ? ' 

Apparently he did not And it out that night,. for he was 
as attentive as such a dapper little person might be, and 
Jenny, in better spirits than she had ever been in her life 
before, reined in her sharp retorts, and listened with a 
devoutness that would have done credit to a more prac- 
tised hand. 

Poor Mr. Dalzell ! He could not, as he. had so em- 
phatically stated, understand it, why Mr. Devereux* 
should propose to one and be accepted by another in tha • 
afternoon. Why Lord Ingram should, after a- pause,, 
announce the engagement with imposing solemnity,, and a 
strange suppressed excitement disturbing the aristocratic^ 
repose of his faultless features that yet looked so thin and 
drawn to-night. Why Jenny should laugh and talk with) 
a glorious glitter of happiness in her big eyes. 

What was it all ? Like a vision came before him the-' 
pale, stern face of Rohan Blennerhasset. What had he to* 
do with it ? Did Jenny rejoice that he was free ? Was 
that the secret of her gladness ? And Rohan Blenner- 
hasset E Clearly he had not known, to whom. Charlie was- 


•actually engaged, that was plain enough from the way he 
spoke of Kate. He had, then, doiibtless fallen into the 
same mistake by some means, and had after all been al- 
luding to Jenny, as Mr. Dalzell had at first concluded. 

Oh, wiseman! Rohan Blennerhaeset could not have 
argued it out more logically than did this simple Robert 
Dalzell under the pressure of a great misery. But instead 
of eating his dinner like a sensible man, he spent his time 
in forming plans how to let the lawyer know of his mis- 
take, and neglected his partner in a shameful manner. 
Quite forgetting that Jenny had not had the advantage of 
'going through his lucid course of reasoning, he opened the 
subject rather abruptly during the evening. 

* How stupid of me, child, to keep urging you to marry 
Devereux, when it was Mr. Blennerhasset you preferred. 
il didn't see it till we were at dinner.' 

* You must be very sharp to see it now,' she retorted. 

* I might have Been it before, but somehow I got it into 
my head that you were engaged to the other, and of course 
it never struck me you liked Blennerhasset, or I wouldn't 
have let the poor fellow go away as he did, without a word 

•of comfort.' 

'Mr. Dalzell, are you quite sure you are well? Or 
perhaps it is I that am delirious, and fancy all these comi- 
cal things.' 

They had moved out on the terrace from listening ears, 
and she looked up in the moonlight with such a really 

•puzzled expression that a doubt suddenly assailed the 
strong castle he had with his own hands built up for 

f Giant Despair. Ah ! how many of us do build up these 

castles, and refuse to believe that any good can come to us. 

IHow many of us woo the horrid monster., and writing 


hard things against ourselves, point to them as the cLecrees 
of Providence. Closing our senses persistently to any bright 
hope of a better fortune, we call up the hopelessness of our 
lot as a witness against the injustice of the Creator. And 
we must not always expect that doubts will come strong 
enough to assail the prisons we have built for ourselves ; 
we must not always look for a light powerful enough to 
pierce the chinks and crannies we have so industriously 
stopped, though good does come to men who can believe 
no good of themselves, as in the case of Robert DalzelL 
' Perhaps you don't love him, Jenny ? ' , 

* Perhaps I don't. I wish you'd tell me why ^ou ask.' 
' Because he seems to love ydu, Jenny. That would 

make a difference, I suppose ? ' and again bis heart stood 
still. Only for a moment, then it went at racing speed, as 
the answer came prompt and decided. 

* Indeed, it wouldn't. I'd not have the man if he was 
at my feet, and rolling in diamonds. You're under a very 
'funny mistake all the same ; he hates me like poison. If 
he doesn't, I do him. , 

' But he's handsome, Jenny Joy,' and his voice grew 
thick and hurried. 

* I don't deny it, so is a wax doll.' 

* He is young.* 

* That I deny ; he never was that. Perhaps when he 
marries he'll grow young ; it'B his only hope.' 

' He's clever.'' 

' With all his cleverness he couldn't see what a fool 
might see.' 

* Jenny Joy, are you sure you're not deceiving n>e, 
deceiving yourself ? Are you sure that you might Hot 

*one day love him *? ' 


* Oh, you're too considerate, really. What an opinion 
you must have had of me. What ! have I neither eyes nor 
ears, that I must think more of a man whose heart is a 
stone to everyone good and kind and noble.' 

' Oh, Jenny, would a kind heart outweigh youth and 
good looks and golden locks ? Oh, Jenny Joy, I am old 
"and plain and grey-haired, but I have a kind heart.' 




The amphibious inhabitants of Finch Street were beginning 
to grow accustomed to the sight of the aristocratic-looking 
gentleman who wandered day after day among the shipping, 
looking from one passer-by to another as though he would 
liave spoken, then halting in a vague, purposeless sort of way, 
and again shambling on. After a time the shipping clerks 
got used to him, too, and nodded a sleepy reply to the 
anxious questions concerning Australian-bound ships, put 
in a furtive, hurried whisper. By-and-by the shipping 
clerks, and the amphibious ones too, ceased to remark any- 
thing strange in the shadow that began invariably to fol- 
low the questioner, although this shadow was of changing 
shape, being sometimes a stalwart white-headed man, who 
put no vague questions, but kept his eye in a decidedly 
practical way on his substance, at a convenient distance ; 
sometimes a woman closely veiled, who observed the same 

It wanted a month to the day appointed for Charlie's 


-wedding, when Miss Ingram called him from the breakfast- 
room, and thej strolled down nnder the beeches. 

* Charlie, would you be very much surprised to hear 
that uncle Ralph had taken his passage for Australia ? 9 
Charlie stopped short and stared at his cousin. 
' I must explain quickly ; I don't like to leave him too 
long alone. While yon and Kate have been busy I have 
'been watching.' 

'Poor Flossy/ he interrupted very tenderly, 'I did 
think — well, I thought that only love for njnothpr could 
ihave saved that man from loving Kate.' 

'You were wrong. But that is a dream past and gone, 
vrhy do yon try to recall it ? ' she said impatiently. * Well, 
I have been uncle Ralph's companion in the house of late, 
and every time he slips out I slip out too, or send Yysa; 
he's the only one I care to let into the secret. It was his 
perusal of the shipping news that first attracted my at- 
-tention. 'I found that he haunted Finch Street locality, 
and now he has taken his passage on board the "Maid of 
Armagh," under an assumed name.' 
' What is his object ? ' 

' That I can only guess at. I fancy — I can hardly teH 
why, except from a hundred little plaints and moans — that 
She wants to find Balfe's child.' 

' The girl he sentenced to transportation fifteen years 
' Yes.' 

'What is to be done?' 

* That is just what I want to arrange. My plan would 
"be to suggest to him a voyage to Sydney, offering myself 
-as companion. That would deprive him of any necessity 
for secrecy ; and you know, Charlie, we could not .prevent 
him going, he is sane enough on other points/ 


"*Btft there might be some easier way of gaining 
information than a voyage to the Antipodes. I'll make 
v inquiries/ 

* But that is an after consideration. Charlie, don't yon 
think I had better enter into his plans, and find out if this 
rig really his object ? ' 

* Yes, Flossy ; bat if it mast be a voyage, I will be his 
^companion, mot yon.' 

'Yon will do no such thing. Yon will hasten your 
marriage, and while you are going on your tonr we will 
yset ont on ours. Don't yon see it is the very thing for 
Elate, this voyage. Her father's drooping spirits weigh 
heavily on her's; and then, who knows? a voyage may 
Testore him.' 

' Kate and I will both go. You shall not sacrifice 

' A. pretty nurse you would be for a -sick man, und Kate 
%as had quite enough of it for a while. As to sacrificing 
Tnyself, I don't see what I shall leave behind to regret, 
•except friends who will forget me so soon that no matter 
•when I return they will be sure of the pleasure of recalling 
old recollections.' 

Scarcely more than a week later Rohan Blennerhasset 
-was stepping from a Holyhead packet on to the Kingstown 
pier. Several of his town acquaintances were lounging 
»there, and he would have passed them with a curt good 
day. But they had news for a man who had been a fort- 
night out of the kingdom, and he did not get away so easily. 

' Have you heard the news ? ' one asked. ' I suppose 
not ; we didn't hear it till half an hour ago. lievereux 
'was married to Miss Ingram this morning/ 

VOL. u. I 

474 -0GBAM PLACE. ' 

'This morning]' lie repeated, half stunned. 'How 
Jong have I been away ? ' 

4 It's a regular cheat now, isn't it ? to get over the grand 
.wedding that was to astonish the natives in this underhand 
fashion. But it seems Lord Ingram is very shaky and ill, 
and they are afraid, I suppose, he might put them in 

*Ah! Good day.' 

* But, Blennerhasset ' 

' Sorry I can't stay, but I'm Tery busy just now.' 

He walked along rapidly, like a man in a dream, reject- 
ing the insinuating offers of cab and car men. He had 
.almost reached Dublin when a close carriage dashed up 
close to him, and was stopped suddenly with a jerk that 
nearly sent the horses on their haunches. He was already 
a little past, and had caught sight of a lady in a travelling 
•dress ; but he could not do less than turn and approach 
the carriage window. A pale face was put out; a tiny- 
gloved hand was extended. He scarcely touched the hand, 
but he looked at the face with a cold impassibility that 
gave his handsome features a forbidding sternness. 

' We leave Ireland to-day, Mr. Blennerhasset. I thought 
jou would say good-bye. You do not seem surprised.' 

' I heard it before.' 

' Charlie told you, perhaps ? ' 

* No, I heard it just now at Kingstown,' he rejoined very 

He had heard, and it was nothing to him, would not 
have moved him to bid her farewell, had she not stopped 
.the carriage. 

' I must not detain you. Good-bye, Mr. Blennerhasset.' 
fie bowed stiffly to the .finished coquette, who, while 


trying what effect the tidings of her marriage would pro- 
duce, wore such a sad, wistful look, that only changed into 
haughty coldness as he lifted his hat with ceremonious 
politeness. The pale, proud face was bent with an icy in- 
difference equal to his own, then disappeared from the win- 
dow ; the carriage rolled on, and Blennerhasset proceeded 
on his way, haunted by that last look, and cursing the art 
by which she could call it up. 

And she — she the finished coquette, leaned back on the 
cushions, blessing the accident that had permitted her to 
leave Dublin alone, that no eye might see her sorrow. 

' Why should this voyage be dreadful to me ? ' she 
murmured, with exceeding bitterness. * Was I not right 
when I said I have nothing to leave behind me that I need 



QtfT under the burning rays of an Australian sun, no 
shelter visible, nothing but a dry, treeless waste below, an 
intolerably bright sky overhead. In a rude waggon, 
adapted for country travelling, sat three persons — an 
elderly man, and a young girl, and a female servant. 
In front, with the driver, was another man, but with no 
signs of feebleness, though his head was white. 

' You are hot, dear uncle Ralph.' 

' Yes,' he moaned, shifting uneasily, ' and so tired, my 

T 2 


Miss Ingram leaned forward and whispered something 
rto Vyse. 

* You're not going to stop again,' said Lord Ingram 
irritably. ' I wont have it.' 

'Not just yet, uncle, and then only for a moment to get 

• cool.' 

He muttered peevishly to himself, while Vyse whispered 
to his mistress that the driver did not know of any stopping- 
j>lace for hours, except a farm across the hill. 

' Tell him to drive there, then, and pass no remark,' she 
-said quietly. 

In about an hour the vehicle drew up in a large farm- 
yard, and the -agile Vyse was down to hand out his young 
llady and his master, too, who after standing alone for a 
moment leant on his » niece for support. They approached 
the farm-house together, but the woman who stood in the 
half-closed doorway, did not offer any greeting, till the 
sweet musical tones of Miss Ingram's voice fell on her ear. 
' Will you allow us to rest here a little ? The hot sun 

• of these treeless plains has quite exhausted me.' 

She was a gaunt, hollow-eyed woman, with regular 
features and pale lips. ?She looked from the vigorous 
young girl to the feeble man, and comprehended the pious 
•deceit. Yet there was no savour of bushranger's hos- 
pitality as she moved aside to let them pass. 

' Come. in,' she said, still watching them keenly. 

It was a large, lofty apartment, with an earthern floor 
and a double roof ; the middle one being of loose rafters 
^permitted a view of the extreme height of the upper one, 
which was conical. A vault-like coolness pervaded the 
place, together with a grave-like smell of damp earth, and 
almost on the threshold Lord Jngram was seized with, a 

lent -fit of shivering. 


'Bring the old gentleman here,' said the woman,, 
opening a door, and leading the way into a smaller* room, 
raised a foot, and with a boarded floor. A single bed, a 
basin stand, a small rude table, and a chair, composed the- 
furniture. The atmosphere was warmer here, and Miss- 
Ingram sat dowm beside her uncle on a stool brought by. 
the woman. 

' How very hot it is outside,' she said, turning to the- 
woman in the gracious, winning way natural to her. ' Youj 
must forgive us for intruding on you ; we ara not used, 
to this climate.' 

' Only just come, maybe ? ' 

' Well, it's some months now ; but near the towns it* 
didn't seem so bad.. Aren't you very lonely here ? ' 

'I like it,' was the curt reply. 'You're* English,, 
perhaps ? ' 

' No, Irish.' 

' Irish, is it ? And you come here from the old. 
eountry ? ' 

' Yes. Is Ireland your home, too ?. ' 

The woman passed her hand wearily across her fore- 
head,, as thougji she would have, wiped out the eagerness* 
she felt was showing. . 

4 Poor old. Ireland ;? and the hard voice took for the 
first time a trace of womanly softness.. 'Oh, it's -weary. 
I am to see it ; weary,, weary,, day and night. How is 
the country looking, ma'am? Eair and green,- 1 know; 
and I am not there to see it. It's not often we have 
visitors here,'' she added hastily,.' and; may be so best, for.- 
they mightn't be pleasant ones ; but I'll go and hurry the- 
tea, the gentleman looks tired.' 

' I'm not tired,. thank you; ' and the nobieman.'smaiinaxr 


was a peevish, irritable, childish edition of his former 
aristocratic indifference. 'The Ingrams are not .easily 
tired. Beatrice, you are wasting time ; you have not made 
any inquiries yet.' -i 

'Ingram?' interrupted the woman, her natural pale- 
ness deepening to a corpse-like pallor. •'Is your name 
Ingram ? What brings you here — here under my 
roof ' 

She checked herself suddenly as she noticed his blank 
stare, and went out of the room, shutting the door behind 

' Beatrice/ he said, relapsing into has feeble plaint, 
4 you don't make inquiries — you don't hurry; and yet, I 
have no time to spare.' 

She looked up at the thin pinched face as she removed 
her hat, and a sudden chill ran through her frame as the* 
conviction suddenly seized her that he had indeed no time 
to lose. A sick faintness compelled her to kneel beside his 
chair as she looked fearfully up at the pale, cadaverous 
countenance, over which a mighty change had passed, a 
change that deepened as she looked. 

* Oh, Uncle Ralph, what is it r ' 

She was standing now, with her arms around that poor 
old man; her weakness gone, her strength come in its 
fulness, to meet this sudden need. 

* Nothing, my dear — only — I have no time to spare,' he 
whispered, as the deadly faintness passed for the time. 

Away in that far-off land, buried in its very wilds, she 
did not lose heart, but summoned her servant, and unlocked 
her ba*r of cordials, as calmly as though the old man's 
caprice had not brought her miles away from any settle- 


ment where she could obtain assistance. When he waft- 
somewhat revived she induced him to lie down, and after*" 
having covered him comfortably up r and established Vyse 
at the bedside, she proceeded to obey his urgent entreaties, 
and to make inquiries. 

Oh, how sick she was of these inquiries, how utterly 
weary, as she came out into the vault-like room, with its 
odour of damp earth. Her heart almost failed her, as she 
thought of her uncle, sick, perhaps dying, in that out-of- 
the-way spot. 

* May I speak to you one moment ? ' she said, detaining 
the hostess as she was passing through. ' I want to ask 
you a few questions.' 

The woman looked suspiciously at her with those* 
nollow eyes. 

I What is it ? Don't come and try to ferret things out 
Bere. You'd better not.' 

' I don't want to know anything that you may not 
choose to tell me,' said Miss Ingram in her quiet, fearless 
way. ' I am only afraid you will not be able to answer 
my questions. Still I must put them, to satisfy my poor 
uncle. He is very ill.' 

' Is he ? Does he suffer too ? It's time.' 

'Did you know Lord Ingram ? ' 

' Maybe I did. You're not ferreting out now/ 

I I must tell you my uncle has suffered a great deal. 
Years ago he lost his daughter.' 

' Lost his daughter, did he ? Ay, and so did other 
people, and couldn't make much fuss about it ! ' 

' It preyed upon his mind greatly,' the lady continued, 
with a quiet gravity that began to enforce attention ; 
•"more than anyone ever imagined. And then her had. 


other troubles. Altogether he has had a very miserable 
life for the last fifteen years.' 

' Fifteen years ? ' So have L* 

'And now he has taken an idea into his head that 
nothing can remove. He wants to dud a girl of the name 
of Alice Balfe, who came out here fifteen years, ago.' 

There was a dead pause for some- seconds, and during 
the interval the heavy breathing of Lord Ingram could be- 
distinctly heard. No other sound was audible. If there 
was cooking, if there were servants, there was no sign of 
either. All was ghostly and still. Even the strip of sun- 
light that pierced in at the end of the blind had nothing 
of life in its taper brightness. Motionless as the- rude- 
furniture were* the two figures* the lady seated on the 
bench near the deal table, her tall,, hollow-eyed hostess 
standing opposite. 

* I suppose you cannot help me,' said Miss Ingram at 
length. ' I scarcely expected you could.' 

She made no answer, that pale-lipped woman; she only- 
turned away, and opening an end door, permitted a glimpse- 
of a kitchen. Soon she returned with a cloth, and pro- 
ceeded to place on the table such utensils as the place 
afforded ; but all with a strange noiselessness. Some very- 
good bread, fresh butter, eggs, and tea, formed the repast 
she offered to travellers. 

The afternoon went by without giving Lord Ingram 
strength to rise, without taking the cadaverous hue from 
his nice. 

' Is there any doctor hereabouts ? ' asked Miss Ingram. 


* Where then ? ' 

' Fifty miles is the nearest/ 


And that is- 

' A day's journey with good horses. You could do it 
in six hours, if you didn't mind knocking up your beasta, 
but you. couldn't come back soon.' 

Miss Ingram returned to* Vyse, but a glance at her 
uncle checked the command on her lips. She looked 
at the faithful servant, but his head was bowed in 
despair, and she rushed back to the other room. Her 
white face and dilated eyes startled the woman. 

* Come in and tell me whether it's any use sending.' 

The woman followed almost involuntarily, and stood 
with the young girl beside the bed. Yes, the change had* 
deepened ; the pinched nose, the blue lips, the white fore- 
head, with the death-damp on it, the hair that fell in a 
heavy lifeless lock over it, all told of a mighty presence. 

^1 wouldn't send, Miss, if I were you,' said the womatt 
in a low, hushed tone. It was a simple sentence, but it 
spoke volumes to that lonely girL Without a wonct 
she knelt down beside that thin, wretched pallet, and took 
in hers the weak, worn hand. Hush !. he speaks. 

fc If I could only find her. I have no time to lose. Ifi" 
I could only see her once. I can't meet her there,' he said r 
c it was all my fault that she was lost.' 

' What right had he to say that anyone was lost wh He- 
ft merciful God is over all ? ' said Miss Ingram, in low 
tones that sounded to herself unnaturally calm. 

There was a short silence, and again he spoke. 

' Couldn't you find her for me, my dear ? Oh, I haven't 
much time to spare,, and I should like to hear her forgive 


The piteous entreaty almost broke her heart. 

' Oh v uncle Ralph,.! would if 1 coulcL I would give the- 


best years of my life to find her for yon now. Bnt I 
cannot. Will yon not throw yonrself on that merciful 
Redeemer ? Will yon not trust Him to seek her ont ? ' 

' I can't — I can't die easy.' 

' Oh, nly dear, my dear, God can find ont that poor girl, 
and console her withont you. Only believe that, and it 
will comfort yon.' 

* I can't — I can't.' 

He moaned restlessly, and his eyes wandered im- 
ploringly. Stepping to the other side of the bed, that 
gaunt woman bent over him, her face as deathly as his 

' What would you wish her to say to you if you could 
find her, Lord Ingram ? ' 

The wandering eyes fixed themselves on her face ; the 
flickering senses burnt feebly, but clearly. 

' That she forgives me ; that she is not beyond a 
repentance ; that I have not her soul to answer for.' 

' She does forgive you.' 

He sat straight up in the bed with a sudden effort* 
though the bead-like drops rolled down his face. 

' Who are you ? ' 

' 1 am Alice Balfe.' 

'Whom I sent across the seas for a very little theft, 
merely because one more or less of the herd was nothing 
to me?' 

' Yes* But I say I forgive you.' 

' And you are not a thief? ' 

* No.' 

' Not an outcast ? ' 

* And you hope to go to Heaven when you die ? *" 


*I do,' was the solemn reply. 

Winter grew the face ; heavier grew the weight against 
Miss Ingram ; then his head fell back on his niece's shonlder. 

Not dead yet ; only fainted. They' laid him carefully, 
lovingly down, and applied such restoratives as were at 
hand. All night long they watched beside him. Once 
Miss Ingram begged her hostess to leave her and go to her 
husband, who had returned from his work. 

' He's had his supper, Miss, and if yon don't mind I'll 
stay with yon. There's meat, and bread, and plenty of milk 
on the table, if you'll send your servant out to it.' 

But poor old Vyse could not, would not be sent away ; 
and so they three watched together. Towards morning 
somewhat of the pinched look passed away, and Alice, 
stealing quietly away, returned with some strong tea, and 
put Miss Ingram in a chair by the window. The beverage 
revived the weary girl, and for a moment she looked out at 
the pale pink sky. When she turned, Alice was leaning 
over the bed. She had grasped in hers the poor wandering 
hand, and she held up the other to keep away Miss Ingram. 
Her gesture was unheeded, and Beatrice Ingram stood 
beside her uncle. She uttered no cry to disturb the parting 
spirit ; she only whispered a wordless prayer as the breath 
cpie in faint, fluttering gasps. It ceased, and the cold 
morning light streamed in on the face of the dead. 




* "You see, ma'am, I got away, never mind how*. after three • 
years of it. I didn't have much thought of good, or indeed 
of anything. What sort of a life I might have led I don't 
know, but I met Martin Coyne. He had emigrated on 
account of the tronble'at home, that wouldn't let him pay 
a rent three times as much as it ought to have been, and 
lie took me for a girl come out to service. It was, before * 
Heaven, the only deception I ever practised on him; but 
how could I expect an honest boy like that* to marry an 
escaped convict ? And. what would have become of me if 
he hadn't married me ?- I daren't look for a situation ; . and. 
yet that crime has hung over me every- hour since I've 
been His wife.. I've been a good wife to- Him;. I've saved, 
and struggled for the day he'll have enough to bring 
us back to the old country ; I've churned,. and milked, and; 
done my house- work with hardly a bit of help. I've- 
slaved as few women could, but I've done it all in a per- 
petual fear- Every stranger that kem to the farm might 
be a policeman ; and, ma'am, I could never look in his face 
again if he knew what I was.' 

' C6uldn't you trust him ? ' Miss Ingram said kindly, 
and soothingly. ' Not let him find it out, But tell him ? ' 

'I couldn't,' and she clasped her hands nervously. 
'He's a poor man, but an honest one, always that, and the 
disgrace would kill him. I've been a good wife to him. 
I've saved 2 pound upon pound for him, but the day he knew- 
I blackened, an honest name he'd, curse me or die..' 


"'Yon know best,' Miss Ingram said kindly. *T hope you 

sfeel yon have nothing to dread from Vyse and myself, and 

rl thank yon most sincerely for the kindness that prompted in the face of so great a fear to comfort the last 

hours of my poor uncle.' 

She stretched ont her hand as she spoke, her white, un- 
gloved hand. A sudden awkwardness came over that hard, 
gaunt woman. She looked curiously at the hand out- 
stretched, half gave her own, withdrew it, and finally 
allowed it to be grasped, like one in a dream. Two big 
'tears drbpped-on the check apron. 

' I will give your messages faithfully to your father, 
Mrs. Coyne, and I want you to keep this to remember me, 
^and how grateful I shall always feel to you.' 

It was a very handsome glittering purse, and it was 

not till after the cart had rolled away far out of sight of 

that strangely quiet farm-house, and of that little mound 

under the Norfolk pine, that Mrs. 'Coyne discovered the 

. gift was as costly as elegant, being filled with bank notes. 

Some days after a lady sat at one of the windows of 

• the Palace Hotel, Sydney. Not even the bright sunset 
brought a colour to her pale cheek, or a touch of warmth 
to her lustreless black dress. Very delicate and slight she 
looked as she sat there, a stranger in a strange land, 
pondering the sad question as to which were better, that 
or the only other alternative open to her, to be a stranger 
in her own country. True she had friends there, but not 

• one who would miss her, not one to whom her presence 
was necessary. Which would it be better, to begin the 
struggle for a life that had just now no charm here where 
she was, if uncared for, also unknown, or to go back an 

: Alien where she had once received « royal homage ? She 


knew neither Charlie nor Mrs. <Jhirrup would ever let her 
want a home ; but would not a life, that had at least the 
charm of being fought for, suit her better than a purely 
vegetable existence ? 

She thought the question over in a dreamy, abstracted 
way, for her energies were too much exhausted to permit 
any rigorous mental exertion. Life was so dreary, so 
colourless, besides, it scarcely seemed worth the trouble of 
thinking, and she only thought because she could not help 
it, because her brain would go on, try as she might to rest, 
working out a ceaseless round of problems thit nearly 
drove her distracted. 

' A genelman, miss, wants awful bad to see you.' 

He was a colonial-bred waiter, and didn't often say 
'miss/ but there was something in the aspect of that 
pale, slight girl in her deep mourning robe that awed him, 
something in the fair aristocratic face that lowered his 
voice from its habitual twang. 

'It's a mistake,' she said indifferently, 'and I don't 
care to see strangers.' 

'Beg pardon, genelman said as how it's wery per- 

' Show him in, then.' 

She did not move from her indolent attitude till the 
door had opened. Then she rose with chilly courtesy, and 
stood face to face with Rohan Blennerha3set. 

He checked himself in the middle of the room, and 
stood looking at her, at the dreamy face that took no tinge 
of colour from the sudden surprise, that seemed so start- 
lingly white above that heavy, lustreless, clinging black. 

* They told me you were alone, but can it really be that 
are? ' was the startled question. 


'No, I have Vyse and Waters with me,' she said, in a 
quiet, abstracted way. Then a thought struck her. Could 
it be that he was ignorant of what had happened ? and yet 
must be so, he had not time to have heard except through 
the hotel people, and they were almost ignorant of her 
affairs. And yet it .seemed so long, so long since she had 
left that lonely little mound, so long since she had written 
a mournful letter to an orphan. 

'Perhaps you don't know — •' 

For the first time her voice faltered. A sick, giddy 
feeling, as of involuntary motion, an idea of chairs waltz- 
ing round in confusing circles, of a dim chaos. 

' Poor child ! poor child ! ' 

The protecting touch, the pitying tone broke down the 
self-command she had sustained throughout. Somehow, 
with the consciousness scarcely acknowledged of some one 
to lean on, ebbed away all her strength, now that she was 
no longer alone the sense of her loneliness overwhelmed 
her, and for a few moments she indulged in that true 
woman's luxury, a good cry. It did her good, but, woman- 
like, she was ungrateful for the relief, and checked herself 
with the angry reflection of how ridiculous her want of 
self-control must appear ; and before this man of all others, 
whom she had vowed in her heart of hearts she would 
compel to respect her. She allowed him to lead her to a 
sofa, and utter exhaustion completing what her will might 
have failed in, she shaded her eyes with one hand, and 
waited quietly for him to question her. 

'Forgive me if I distress you/ he said very gently, 
' but I was so ignorant— so utterly unprepared.' 

The kindness of the tone almost unnerved her, but she 
remembered how, in spite of this apparent consideration, 

be most in reality despise her childish weakness. He 
--» sensible man, you know, and above such folly. 

' Of course you hadn't time to hear — but I forgot/ 

Then in a few low, disjointed sentences she told of her 
-uncle's last illness. 

' I have come too late to be of much use/ he said as she 

•concluded her very brief story, 'but at least, I can save 

you any trouble about arranging for your return. Ton 

will command me — will yon not — if I can be of any -other 

•service? ' 

She took her hand from her forehead, and leant back, 

looking straight before her. Her eyes were fixed on the 

gorgeous parrots and monstrous apples of the wall paper, 

"but their glaring hideousness did not disturb her, for she 

♦did not see "them. 

'I don't think I shall go back. 1 

' Not go back ? * he repeated, in blank dismay, looking 
down at the pale face in which the set lines were beginning 
to come, the little white hands folded with something of 
determination against the black dress. 'You mean yon 
-want a good rest first, and I don't wonder. I will wait as 
4ong as you like.' 

* Thank you, but I don't mean that,' and her eyes never 
•changed from their fixed look, her voice from its duH 
mechanical tone. ' I think I shall stay here altogether— 

sat least for the present.' 

4 Stay here ? You cannot mean that.' 

* Why not? I left nothing in Ireland to regret— 
mobody to miss me. Why should I go back ? ' 

* Nothing to regret ? nobody to miss yoa? ' 

-'Not one to miss me,' she repeated, in tones ringing 


*with an unconscious pathos ; * not one who would be much 
the poorer if I were blotted out of the living creation.' 

* You speak hardly .' 

4 Oh, no. Charlie and Kate love me dearly, but they 
have each other. Godmother is the only one who might 
drop a tear on my grave for herself as well as for me, and 
she has two children to console her for my absence, 
'Oharlie and Charlie's wife.' 

'And I? What am I to do?' 

Her eyes never moved from the flaring parrots, but her 
voice took a colder, harder tone, as she went on after a 
short pause. 

' So you see I have no urgent reason to go back to Ire- 
land, and many to stay here. I shall be able to struggle 
more vigorously for a prize worth having, and above all,' 
and the set lines deepened, and the spiteful little hands 
clasped each other more firmly, * above all, I shall be able 
to avoid the pity of my friends. That is one of the insults 
«of fortune I could not suffer.' 

* You are very proud, Mass Ingram.' 

She did not answer. A clear perception came to her 
that she had thrown away with a reckless hand her last 
chance, but she knew that if it were to do over again she 
would do it. It might be that Rohan Blennerhasset was 
not a man to ignore a rejection, but neither was she the 
woman to yield to the sensationalism of a proposal made at 
a moment when her desolate situation had appealed to an 
extra romantic chivalry. 

' Will you care to hear why I left Ireland for Australia ? 
Will it bore you too much ? * 

' I shall be interested to hear,' she said, in her most 

vol. il u 


c oa fentkmal tones, yet with an utter weariness that the 
profession of interest could not veflL 

' Yon remember, perhaps, how we parted r ' 

The lassitude gave way to a sudden hauteur, and she 
drew herself np. For the first time a bright angry crimson 
overspread face and neck. 

* Yon remember ? Well,, I want yon to remember, too, 
that it was not till the vessel had been gone a week that I 
knew I had said good-bye to Beatrice Ingram, not Mrs. 
Devereux. The next vessel for this part was the " Ocean 
Queen," bound for Sydney, as it happened. She had bad 
weather round the Cape, and only arrived this morning. 
That is my story.' 

She made no comment, any more than if it had been 
long and prosy enough to put her to sleep. 

The silence was again broken by the voice of her com- 
panion ; not quite so clear, perhaps, but brave and manly 

c And now, must you stay ? or must I stay ? or must 
we both go home together ? ' 

Very dark, with a thick darkness that might be felt, 
had been that hour before day, but the dawn was all the 



Noiseless as ever was that far-away farm-house, with its 
-strip of sunlight peeping under the blind. There was no 
.-servant about the place, no one but Mrs. Martin Coyne, 



and she moved from dairy to kitchen, from kitchen td 
poultry-yard, with a restless, ceaseless activity, as though 
she had been some figure of leather or wood, concealing 
the secret of perpetual motion, rather than human flesh and 

A clatter through the farmyard brings the blood to her 
face, then dashes it back, leaving her ghastly. A loud 
knocking reverberates like thunder in that silent place, and 
wakes the poultry near at hand into something like a com- 
motion, strangely at variance with their usual suppressed 
chatter. Has discovery come at last? Have all these 
years of watching, and' waiting, and working, been for 
nothing ? 

Only a letter marked across with the words, ' In haste. 1 " 
No postman ever came to Red Clay farm. It was, there- 
fore, a private messenger, and after a pause she pointed to 
a shed where his horse would be protected from the sun, 
and then beckoned him into the lofty, chilly, earthy apart- 
ment. Taciturn as ever, she offered no word of greeting to 
the stranger, but silently placing bread and meat and ale 
on the table, disappeared with the letter. 

It was nearly dark when Martin Coyne came home. 

He was a silent man, almost as silent as his wife, but he 

offered a 'good evening* to the stranger as he passed 

tiirough into the kitchen,, outside which were congregated' 

the men and women who had come home with the 

former, waiting for the summons to supper. One or 

two of the latter had entered to help their mistress, and 

were busy putting provisions on the large deal table that 

stretched from end to end. At the head of the table stood 

Martin Coyne's wife, as she had often stood before, but 

there was something in her appearance that struck him, as* 



strange. Perhaps it was the unusual pallor of a face- 
always pale, perhaps it was the increased sternness of the 
compressed month, or it might have been the fact that, 
though it was Monday night, she wore her Sunday gown 
and hat, as though she were going a journey. Before he- 
had time to ask what was up, she turned to the women. 

' Clear out, girls, and shmt the door. Fll call when I 
want you.* 

"Why, wife, what's up ? * 

She looked round slowly at the roomy kitchen ; the* 
large, roughly-hewn dresser, with no lack of homely ware p 
the long table, with its goodly rows of mugs and plates, its- 
plentiful supply of corn bread, and smoking beef hams, and 
oatmeal porridge ; at the handsome eight-day clock in the- 
corner ; the picture of the Mother and Child over the settle ; 
at the fire that biased in the wide fireplace with a cheery 
vigour that was not a little comforting in the cold 
Australian night. Something in the gesture struck Martin 
Coyne painfully, it was so like a farewell look, and he drew 
nearer to his wife. 

c I got a letter to-day, Martin I * 


Again she looked round. She had not mueh to look at, 
you will say. Nothing that you would consider attractive. 
But she and her husband had begun life twelve years 
before with just thirty shillings, and that clean kitchen, 
with I*? plain plenty, was now the centre of a goodly farm. 
Every brick in the walls had been put in under the 
personal superintendence of husband or wife. Every 
article of furniture had been constructed by themselves. 
Every cup, and bowl, and flagon, had a small history of 
rigid saving and increased prosperity attached to it. 


*Itfs twelve years since I've been your wife, Martin 
Coyne. Have you any fault to find with me ? ' 

' Fault ? What fault should I have, my girl ? ' 

< I made up my mind when I married you, Martin 
Coyne, that I would be a good wife to you ; that I'd toil, 
and scrape, and save for you as no other woman could or 
would. Have I done it, or have I not ? ' 

1 You have ; every bit of it.' 

' Did you ever know me do anything all that time that 
you'd be ashamed for your wife to do ? ' 

' No, never. Who said you did ? ' 

*"I asked for little help to keep your house and dairy.. 
I was content to get up early and lie down late, and milk, 
and scrub, and churn, that the women you got me might 
help on the farm, to save you the cost of more labour. Is- 
that true ? ' 

4 True as gospel.' 

* I never spent a farthing I couldhelp ;. I never grudged 
the pain of trouble or denial that'd make the lump bigger,, 
that'd bring you a bit nearer to the old country.. Isn't 
it go?' 

* Sure it is so. Well, haven't we the good of it, and* 
isn't it all yours as much as mine ? ' 

' No. I didn't toil night and day, as no slave but a wife- 
would have the heart to do r for myself. I done it for you,. 

Martin Goyne. You had thirty shillings after you feed 


the priest, and now you have thirty head of cattle. You 
have a good team of oxen, and as many acres as you can 
can sow ; you have a house big enough and comfortable 
enough, and plenty to put in it. Well, I'm going to leave 
it all to-night, — and it's for you, Martin Coyne, to say/ 
whether I'll ever come back !.' 


' Going away ! ' and the farmer's sunburnt visage grew 
a sickly colour. ' What for ? ' 


' I never deceived you but once, Martin Coyne ; only 
once, as Heaven is my witness ! ' 

' Deceived me ? ' he gasped. * No, no ; don't say that; 
Don't tell me if you did. I tell you, it's better not.' 

* It's hear it you must,' she said, still staring before her 
in the same stony way. c It can't be hid any more. 
You didn't marry an emigrant — you married an escaped 
convict ! ' 

He never spoke, and she did not dare — that hard, stern 
woman — she did not dare look at him. 

c 1 knew the Coynes were decent people, and held their 
heads high ; and I knew you were the proudest and the 
poorest of a stock proud and poor. I couldn't tell you. I 
couldn't give you up. For to look for work, or to try to 
get away by myself from Sydney, would just be asking 
to get back to gaol. But I made a vow that it was the 
only wrong I'd ever do you/ 

Still he did not speak ; and she went on. 

'I thought I'd keep my secret to the grave, but it 
wasn't to be. I got a letter to-day from the lady that was 
here. My father is dying at the station, and he craves for 
a sight of me. I thought I gave him up for you ; but 
when I see him as I see him all this blessed day, crying out 
that he can't die easy, I feel I must go. I can't leave him 
there. No, though his name is Balfe the robber. I 
couldn't let him die by himself ; he's my father ! ' 

Her voice faltered a litile, a very little as she added, 

' I'll take Jim Blake with me ; he's a kind-hearted boy, 
and won't mind turning 6ut in the night, and will bring 
baok the cart and horses.. Don't curse me, Martin- Coyne.. 


Nobody in Sydney need know that Balfe's daughter was 
ever your wife.' 

* No, nor anywhere else nnless yon tell them/ and the 
upright figure of the farmer passed with surprising rapidity 
round the table to where his wife stood. ' Jim Blake, 
indeed ! You don't suppose you're going all the way to 
Sydney without me ? ' 


For the first -time tears softened the hollow eyes. Five 
minutes before she had looked forty- five ; now a weight of 
hardness seemed lifted and she looked young, younger than 
she had looked twelve years before, when she was just 
eighteen. Hand in hand they stood as they had never 
stood before in all their married life, and big drops trickled 
down on the bush farmer's big brown hand, till he began 
to fear that he, too, should grow foolish. 

1 Come, old woman, get the supper over, and we'll be 
off in just no time at all.' 

' But the farm, Martin ? ' 

* The farm ? If Jim Blake was good enough to take 
care of my wife, he's good enough to look after the farm 
till we're back.' 

. '• . . -. . • 

Raving at times, and talking sensibly at others, Balfe 
seemed always to retain a sense of the presence of the girl 
who four years ago had awed him into something like 

* Yes, you were clever, though . not the way they 
thought. They all suspected you of plotting not to do 
just what you were doing, him as well as the rest.' 

' My wife has forgiven all that,' Blennerhasset said. 
'Ay, is that it ? ' and a smile of grim humour die- 


torted the gaunt features. ' That's how you were so hard 
to please with the cousin. And you tell me he died away 
from her, died with my girl's hand where his own should 
have "been ? ' he added abruptly. 

'With, your daughter's hand in his,' Miss Ingram 

' Here, in Australia ? '' 

4 Yes, in your daughter's house.' 

' Has she a "house ? Oh, if she would only come. € 
haven't seen her for fifteen years,' and the fevered eye lit 
up with a passionate longing. * Oh, if she would only 
♦come, if I could just see her face for one minute, I could 
die.' A sudden idea brought the big drops to his forehead, 
and he made a frantic struggle to rise. 

'Oh, I know I won't see her.' 

' If you knock about like that you certainly will not,** 
said Blennerhasset firmly. 

' I won't see her. Don't you see — he, my enemy, died 
•away from his child, and so must 3L But it's not just — I 
say it's not just. He had more happiness than me.' 

'Poor fellow. Is that your idea of God's justice? 
Must you go down to the grave with that terrible doctrine 
*of an eye for an eye ? Can you not believe in an illimi- 
table mercy that freely forgives all things — a mercy that, 
•however it may discipline, never punishes ? ' 

* No,' he articulated, ' I can't.' 

' And yet you are spared to repent ? ' 

' If I only could.^ 

' Father ! ' 

A gaunt, haggard woman was leaning over him, tears 
'were dropping on his parched hands. Was this his 
•tighter, his little girl, his small Aileen f 


Bit by bit her features grew upon him, and a startling, 
change came over his face. 

' Are you — are you happy ? ' 

c Only for this, poor father, so happy.' 

' You're married, they tell me.' 

4 Twelve years to-day, father.' 

* And your husband — is he- honest ?' 

* Honest — everything that is good.' 

* Kind to you, my girl ? ' 

* Too kind, father.' 

He lay silent for a while, holding her hand as she knelt 
beside him. When he spoke again it was to utter a ques- 
tion that in some shape or other had perplexed him all 
his life. 

4 Who did it all?' 

He could see no way for human agency to deliver his 
daughter from the infamy of a convict station. 

* Who done it ? Who taught you to be honest ? ' 
'Father, I think God sent me my husbaid to save me/' 
The sound of that dread name on his daughter's lips 

roused the man. With a sudden fevered effort he rose to a 
sitting posture, heedless of tho pain of his shattered 

' You hope to go to Heaven ? ' 

It was the question Lord Ingram had asked with the 
same agonised earnestness. 

4 Yes, I do, father.' 

4 I have been denying mercy all my life. I see it now- 
No, don't lay me down yet.' 

By-and-by he spoke again. 

4 He hadn't his daughter's hand round him, had he ? r 

' No, father.' 

YOL, II. x 


So they sat, father and daughter so long parted, only 
to meet on the shores of the river of Death. 

• •«••• 

The end did not come till two days after. Then the- 
tramp and his daughter parted once more. Would they 
meet again ? Who shall say ? We only know that God's- 
power, goodness, and pity form a mystic Trinity, co-equal 
and co-eternal. 

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